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4 corrections, most recently by robynnnekb - Show corrections

DEATH OF THE LATE CHIEF JUSTICE

OF FIJI.    

CHARLES St. Julian, late Chief Justice of Fiji, died on Thursday, the 26th of November, at his residence, Naitukuni, Nasova, after a long and painful ill- ness. The deceased gentleman was born in London   in May, 1818, and was consequently in his 57th year at the time of his decease. The news of this gentleman's death was received here yesterday by the   James Paterson, and has been heard of by all who know   Mr. St. Julian with unfeigned regret. Full obituary notices have appeared in both of the Levuka newspapers, bearing testimony to the great talent and distinguished personal merits ot the deceased. The Fiji Times (after stating that he first emigrated to Adelaide) says :

"About August or September, 1839, Mr. St. Julian arrived in Sydney, Now South Wales, and almost imme- diately after his arrival met with an engagement on the Australian Chronicle, a journal, then recently started, under the editorial mangement of Mr. W. A. Duncan, the present Collector of Customs, in Sydney, and the acknowledged organ of the Roman Catholio Church in New South Wales. After a connection of eighteen months or nearly two years with tho Chronicle, Mr. St. Julian retired from that paper to take charge of the Commercial Journal, the property of Mr. William Jones, of Bridge- street, Sydney, and continued to conduct that newspaper, as editor and principal reporter, until the plant and copyright were sold to Mr. Robert M'Each- ern, who changed the title of the paper to the Free Press, retaining the services of Mr. St. Julian as editor and re- porter. This position was occupied by him until the failure of the paper in 1843, when he was immediately engaged by Messrs. Kemp and Fairfax, proprietors of the Sydney Morning Herald, as Parliamentary reporter on that journal, which office he filled until May, 1817, when he joined his friend Mr. E. J. Hawkesley, now of Levuka, is the proprietorship of the Sydney Chronicle (formerly the Australian Chronicle), which they jointly conducted until the end of November, 1848, when the partnership was dis- solved and the Chronicle discontinued.

"Mr. St. Julian was immediately re-engaged by Messrs.   Kemp and Fairfax as law reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald, and occupied that position until March, 1872, when on the invitation of the late Government of Fiji he accepted the Chief Justiceship. It will thus be seen that the connec-   tion of Mr. St. Julian with the Press of New South Wales extended over a period of not less than thirty-three years though not educated for the profession of the law, his quick   intellect, his long literary career, his unwearied application, and his large experience as law reporter in the Supreme and Circuit Courts of New South Wales, for fully a quarter of a century, rendered him in point of legal acquirements quite equal to many of the gentlemen practising at the bar of that colony. On questions of international and munici- pal law, he was openly acknowledged, by both Sir Alfred Stephen, late Chief Justice of New South Wales, and Mr. Justice Hargrave, to be far superior to any lawyer in New

South Wales.

"Besides his law reports, which were acknowledged on   all hands to be the most valuable and correct, and in many cases were quoted as of authority in the Courts, Mr. St. Julian contributed to the Herald many interesting and important papers on political, social, and other ques- tions of public interest. His papers on the supply of water to Sydney, and on the charitable institutions of New South Wales, and his sketches of Australian scenery rapidly thrown off during his visits to circuit courts, were replete with interesting and important suggestions, many of which with respect to charitable institutions, have since been acted upon by the Government. His essay on the land question in New South Wales obtained the second prize offered by the proprietors of the Wagga Wagga Observer, and was afterwards published in a pamphlet. It is not a little remarkable that amongst the many essays   which were sent on that occasion, some fifty or sixty in all,   the two best were written by gentlemen on the literary staff of the Sydney Morning Herald, the first prize being adjudged to Mr. Samuel Cook, then principal Parlia- mentary reporter for that journal, and the second to Mr.

St. Julien.    

"His knowledge of tho geographical position and capa-   bilities of the Ā”slands of tho South Pacific was both exten- sive and accurate. For many years he had made this sub- ject his chief study, and his information on every question connected with it was full and complete. Some years ago,   in conjunction with his esteemed friend, Mr. Edward Reeve, he compiled a report, with a compendious gazet- teer of the Polynesian islands, which was published in Sydney, and highly prized as a work of authority by both maritime and mercantile men. Unfortunately, the work is now out of print.

"Mr. St. Julian took a great interest in all matters re-   lating to municipal government, and was the principal person in establishing the two municipalities of Waverley and Marrickville, of both of which he was at different times the Mayor, and during his mayoralty at each of these places their respective town halls were built upon plans devised by himself. He was also ap- pointed a magistrate of the colony, and stood high in the estimation not only of Sir Alfred Stephen, who was his warm friend, and the other Judges, but also of Sir Charles   Cowper, Mr. John Robertson, and Mr. Parkes, who not unfrequently consulted him on matters connected with municipal and other affairs. When it was determined to amend the Municipalities Act of 1858, a confluence of delegates from nearly every municipality in the colony, numbering some twenty or thirty members, sat nearly every day in tho Town Hall, Sydney, for   many weeks. Of this conference Mr. St. Julinu was chosen president. An amended bill, nearly every clause of which was drafted by the president himself, was after much deliberation adopted by the conference and sub- mitted to the Government. This bill formed the basis of and indeed the substance of it is incorporated in the Muni- cipalities Act of 1867, the Act at present in force in New South Wales. An edition of this Act, with copious notes and annotations, was published by Mr. St. Julian, and is regarded by every lawyer in the colony as a work of authority, being constantly cited both in the Supreme and   other Courts, in cases relating to municipal affairs, and   several decisions have been given upon his exposition of   the law.  

"In the year 1871 Mr. St. Julian, who for many years had been Consul-General in Sydney for Hawaii, visited Fiji, being especially commissioned for that purposa by the late King of Hawaii, Kamehameha V. After his return he published in the Herald, and afterwards col-   lected into a pamphlet und published by Cunninghame and Co. of Sjdney, in January 1871, under the title of the "International Status of Fiji, and the Political Rights,   Liabilities, Duties, Privileges of British Subjocts, and other Foreigners residing in the Fijian Archipelago." This work attracted considerable attention in Sydney, and was pronounced by Sir Alfred Stephen, Mr. Justice Hargrave, and several of the most eminent barristerĀ», to whom it was submitted before being finally sent to the Press, as a com- plete and comprehensive work, full of research, well ar- ranged, and written in an argumentative, clear, unassuming style.

"After his appointment to the judgment seat in Fiji, the deceased gentleman laboured almost incessantly in the dis- charge of the duties of his high office. Of him it may truly be said through good report and through evil report he kept on the even tenor of his way, conscientiously doing what he believed to be right and just, not courting the smiles or fearing the censure of any man or party. He has now entered into his rest, and may peace be with him.

"He has left a widow and a numerous family uf young, children to mourn his departure, but we feel sure that they will meet with many sympathising hearts both here and in the Australian colonies."                

We are happy to give additional publicity to the above tribute to the deceased gentleman, for so many years the Law Reporter of this journal; in which he was not less remarkable for the conscientious performance of his duties   than for the great ability which he uniformly displayed.  

Digitisation generously supported by
Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation
Digitisation generously supported by

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