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An Act to amend the Law affecting transported Convicts... An Act to amend the Law affecting transported Convicts with respect to Pardons and Tickets of Leave. (Cap. VII)
London: George Eyre and Andrew Spottiswoode, 1843. Printed bifolium, [109]-111, last blank, armorial letterhead, fine. An important Act defining the rights of convicts to property earned through their own labour. The penal system in Australia had long incorporated the Ticket-of-Leave system wherein convicts were granted the right to work for wages and so 'employ themselves for their own benefit'.The Act begins by limiting the powers of the Governor or Lieutenant-Governor (as in the case of Van Diemen's Land) to issue absolute or conditional pardons to transported felons. Remission of any sentence of transportation must henceforth be submitted to the Secretary of State for approval on behalf of the Crown. This legislation significantly reduced the power and autonomy of the Governor as final and independent arbiter of the destiny of convicts under his control.The third clause consolidates the law regarding the private property of convicts. Given that Ticket-of-Leave holders can acquire personal property, it is to be protected under the full power of the law 'notwithstanding his or her Conviction of Felony'. Thus the inalienable law of private property is formally extended to convicts who have legally acquired it. Interestingly, this clause defends the right of convicts in protecting their property if challenged in court on the basis of their past felonies. Notwithstanding, the system remains contingent upon good behaviour, for if the Ticket-of-Leave is revoked 'all property so acquired by any such Felon shall vest absolutely in Her Majesty, and shall be disposed of at the discretion of the Governor or Lieutenant Governor...'It is significant that property so defined in the Act excludes land (aside from a lease or tenancy agreement). Ownership of land was prohibited until any convict had received their pardon.
      [Bookseller: Hordern House Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2014-12-15           Check availability:      Biblio    

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