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Decisions of the Nineteenth Century Tasmanian Superior Courts

Featured cases

Featured cases

In the bloody history of colonial Australia, few cases compare with R. v. Pearce, 1824.  As the site develops, we will feature important or curious cases with some additional commentary here.  This infamous case requires no commentary.

For a spectacular convict escape and piracy case, see R. v. Shiers, 1837.

We now have the Australian records of the first reported appeal from an Australian court to the Privy Council. See Tetley v. Sherwin, 1841; Tetley v. Sherwin, 1842; and In re Sherwin, 1844.

For the successful appeal by Sydney Stephen against being struck off the Van Diemen's Land roll, see In re Stephen, 1842; and In re Stephen, 1847

Barfoot v. Roberts, 1841 This was an action for libel brought by a midwife against the husband of a woman who died in childbirth, along with the child. The husband placed an advertisement in a newspaper describing this, and stating that it had been caused by the midwife's negligence. Presumably brought to rescue her reputation, the action must have ruined the midwife. The jury found for the husband, with which the judge said he fully concurred, and the details were published in a later issue of the same newspaper.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University and the School of History and Classics, University of Tasmania