Skip to Content

Decisions of the Superior Courts of New South Wales, 1788-1899

In re White [1840] NSWSupC 19

felony attaint

Supreme Court of New South Wales

Dowling C.J., 18 May 1840

Source: Sydney Herald, 20 May 1840

A convict named White, who had been committed by the bench at Port Macquarie, on a charge of forgery, applied by petition to have £30 allowed him out of his money in the Savings Bank, in order to pay for an attorney and counsel to defend him, and also to bring some material witnesses to town; he had previously applied to the Governor and Executive Council for the same purpose, and all that had been ordered was £10.  The Attorney General said, if the prisoner would show him that the witnesses were material, he would recommend to the Governor and Council to allow their expenses out of the money in the Savings Bank; but he hoped His Honor would take some judicial notice of the exorbitant charges made by attorneys for defending prisoners before the Supreme Criminal Court, some of them, who gave very small allowances to counsel, considering £20 or £25 a very moderate charge.  His Honor stated, that during his practice on the circuits at home for a number of years, he never knew of a prisoner's defence costing more than £5; and although, in certain cases here, when witnesses had to be brought from a distance the expenses might be greater, yet he did not see how the defence ought in other cases to exceed that sum.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University