Abstract: Commission to Inquire into the Judicial Institutions of the Province, 1833

Unlike many of the earliest commissions of enquiry, the Commission to Inquire into the Judicial Institutions of the Province is a sizable document; with appendices it is over one hundred and fifty pages. The length of the report is a function of the task of the Commissioners, which was no less than a thorough investigation of the operation of the judicial system.

It appears from the enabling legislation that the impetus to reform the judicial system came from England. It was in the 1820s that the reform efforts of Lords Brougham and Peel attempted to divest the British judicial establishment of graft, corruption, and inefficiency.

The Commissioners who undertook this considerable task, Ward Chipman, Robert Parker, and William Boyd Kinnear, made reference to all levels of the judiciary, including, though not limited to, the Supreme Court, Inferior Courts of Common Pleas, Courts of General Sessions of the Peace, Courts of Justice of the Peace, the City Court of Saint John, Court of Chancery, and Court of Vice Admiralty.

In discussing the constituent aspects of the judicial system of New Brunswick, the report made recommendations regarding fees, salaries and perquisites of court officers, administrative changes, and consolidation of judicial responsibilities. For example, in referring to the Inferior Court of Common Pleas, the report advised that all the acts of assembly which were "scattered through the Statute Book", should be repealed and replaced by one consolidated act. Along with a variety of recommendations, the report also contains a substantial appendix and a detailed account of proposed court officials' salaries.


Ward Chipman
R. Parker
William Boyd Kinnear.

Documents Available for Viewing

Main ReportpdfHeader onlygif
Enabling LegislationpdfHeader onlyincluded with Main Report

Bibliographic Information

View the file's header (TEI format) which contains bibliographic information about the print and electronic versions of the report of this Commission.