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James Dowling (1787-1844) was the third judge to be appointed to the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 1828, and became its second Chief Justice in 1837, following the retirement of Sir Francis Forbes. Dowling was knighted in 1838 and died in office at the age of 56.
Dowling was a barrister and law reporter in London, prior to assuming judicial office. From the many thousands of cases heard by him during his sixteen years on the New South Wales Court, Dowling had planned to publish 465 as Australia’s first set of law reports. Nine manuscript notebooks containing these cases, which Dowling called his ‘Select Cases’, have remained in state archives relatively untouched since Dowling’s death in 1844.
The present volume completes the task begun by Dowling over 161 years ago. It is a scholarly edition of the Dowling cases published by the Francis Forbes Society for Australian Legal History, with the assistance of the Council of Law Reporting for New South Wales, Macquarie University, the New South Wales Bar Association and the Maitland Fund.