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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]

Supreme Court

Supreme Court.

The Law Courts of Wellington stand on a quadrangular portion of the reclaimed land near the Government Departmental Buildings from which they are separated by Whitmore Street. On the same block is situated the Central Police Station, facing Lambton Quay. All the courts hold their sittings in the Supreme Court Building, the eastern wing being set apart for the higher court, and the western for the Stipendiary Magistrate's Court. The illustration herein gives a general idea of the structure, which, while not possessing any notable architectural merit, is a fairly handsome building very conveniently arranged for the purposes intended, although it is sometimes found to be a trifle small. A full description of the Supreme Court appears on page 137 hereof.

The Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court.

His Honour Mr. Justice Buckley (the Hon. Sir Patrick Alphonsus Buckley, K.C.M.G.), some particulars page 469 of whose career are given on page 43, resigned his office as Colonial Secretary and Attorney-General, together with his seat in the Legislative Council in December, 1895. His Honour was thereupon sworn in as a puisne Judge of the Supreme Court of the Colony, and early in the present year (1896) took his seat on the Bench.

Mr. Christopher William Richmond, better known as Mr. Justice Richmond, was a conspicuous figure in the early politics of the Colony. He joined the Stafford Ministry in 1856, and from that year until 1861, filled at different times, the offices of Colonial Secretary, Colonial Treasurer, Minister for Native Affairs, and Commissioner of Customs. He was born and ducated in London. Choosing the law for his profession, he pursue[unclear: d] his studies diligently, and was admitted to the Bar at an Mr. Christopher William Richmond early age. For some time he practised in London, but naving determine to seek his fortune under other skies, he selected New Zealand as the field of labour, whither he sailed in 1853, and landed in the same year. Soon after his arrival he received the appointment of Provincial Solicitor for Taranaki. A few years later, when responsible government was established in the Colony, he was elected a member of the House of Representatives in the General Assembly. So soon did his abilities bring him to the front, that upon the meeting of the first colonial representatives in 1856, Mr. Stafford, who had undertaken to form a Ministry, offered him a seat in the Cabinet. His colleagues were Messrs. Stafford, Whitaker, Sewell, Tancred, and Weld, all of whom have now disappeared from the political arena. Mr. Richmond continued in this Ministry until it resigned in 1861. During his term of office he conducted his department with conspicuous ability, and after the defeat of his party, he was chosen as Leader of the Opposition to the Fox Government. Few men in the Colony have risen to such high positions in so short a time. Yet, notwithstanding his success, he resolved to retire from political life altogether. This determination was carried into effect in 1862, in which year he began practice as barrister and solicitor in Dunedin. He was, however, destined to remain here only a short time. About a year after his retirement from politics he was appointed a Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court of New Zealand. The onerous duties of this office were discharged by Mr. Richmond for over thirty years, and throughout the whole of that time his judgments gave general satisfaction. On every hand he was justly regarded as a thoroughly sound lawyer, and an impartial judge. When he retired from politics the loss to the Colony was great, but it was more than compensated for by his appointment to the judgeship. Nor did he at any time confine himself to the discharge of his judicial functions. On the contrary, he always took a warm interest in all matters affecting the welfare of his fellow colonists. He was a diligent student of literature, and did much to promote its study. In his early days he interested himself in literary societies, and many old colonists can recall to mind the interest with which they listened to his lectures. In recent years, however, when his health began to decline, he abstained from active work of this kind, although his sympathy was never withheld from any endeavour to promote culture in the Colony. When the Wellington Public Library was established a few years ago, he was elected chairman of the committee appointed to supply it with books, and in this capacity he rendered valuable services. He died on the 3rd of August, 1895, when general regret was expressed at the loss the Colony had sustained.

Mr. Daniel George Arthur Cooper, Registrar of the Supreme Court, Sheriff, and Registrar and Marshall of the Vice-Admiralty Court, in a son of Mr. G. S. Cooper, formerly Under-Secretary for the Colony, and was born at Waipawa, Hawkes Bay, in July, 1861. Educated by private tutors, and Mr. Daniel George Arthur Cooper page 470 at the old Wellington Grammar School, and the Wellington College, Mr. Cooper entered the Civil Service as a cadet in the Crown Lands Office in November, 1877. Twelve months later he became private secretary to His Honour the Chief Justice, which position he held till March, 188[gap — reason: illegible], At this date Mr. Cooper was appointed Deputy Registrar of the Supreme Court, and this office he filled for seven years. In May, 1889, he was promoted to the position of Registrar of the Supreme Court and of the Vice-Admiralty Court, and in July, 1891, he was appointed Sheriff of the Wellington district and Marshall of the Vice-Admiralty Court. Mr. Cooper has for years taken a keen interest in sport: be is one of the vice-presidents of the Wellington Kennel Club, a member of the United Hunt (of which he holds the position of deputy master), the Star Boating Club, the Thorndon Tennis Club, and the Wellington Polo Club (of which he is captain), and is also a life member of the Athletic Football Club. His record in the Star Club is a good one, and as a footballer he represented the Wellington district as a forward from 1878 to 1886

Mr. Hugh Gully, the Crown Solicitor and Crown Prosecutor for the Wellington Provincial District, is a member of the firm of Bell, Gully, and Izard, Barristers and Solicitors, of Featherston Street, Wellington.