A Court Apart: The District Court of Queensland, by Denver Beanland
This publication tells the history of the District Court of Queensland, the reason for its establishment, abolition and restoration. It also tells the story of two quite distinct periods and of the hardships in the early days of judges of the court as they travelled throughout Queensland. From Judges Sheppard, Blakeney and Innes the first judges to Chief Judge Wolfe, and the later judges. The book also sets out the jurisdiction of the District Court, an intermediate court, and how it changes over time. Included are the photographs off the judicial officers and most of Queensland’s courthouses, particularly some from the early period.
Treated with disdain before 1922, since 1959 the District Court has developed to become a partner with the Supreme Court in the administration of justice in Queensland.
The District Courts in Queensland were established by legislation on 13 September 1865. However, the courts between then and when they were abolished on 31 March 1922 by the Australian Labor Party Queensland Government often had a difficult periods. With a growing backlog of criminal and civil cases, the newly elected Country-Liberal Coalition Government introduced legislation to restore the court, an intermediate court, which the legal profession had been seeking for years. The legislation received royal assent in December 1958, and the first judges of the re-established court were appointed on 2 April 1959. The 13 April 2009 marked the 50th anniversary of the first sittings of the reconstituted District Court.
About the author Dr Denver Beanland
Denver Beanland served as a Member of the Queensland Parliament between 1986 and 2001. He was the Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Minister Responsible for Consumer Affairs from 1996-98 and leader of the parliamentary Liberal Party 1990-91. Between 1976 and 1986, Denver was an Alderman in the Brisbane City Council and in 1985-86 was Vice-Mayor. Denver is a past President of The Royal Historical Society of Queensland and currently serves on the Society’s Council.
Denver holds a Bachelor of Arts with first class Honours in History (2003) and a PhD in History (2008) from The University of Queensland. Previously in 2009, he was commissioned to write and had published A Court Apart: The District Court of Queensland, a history of the Court. Denver is also the author of numerous published articles and delivered many papers at history conferences.