Foundation of ICLRQ

In 1902, the first authorised reports of the Supreme Court of Queensland – the State Reports of Queensland – began to be published. The genesis of these reports is recorded in the Preface to the inaugural volume. In Queensland as in England, the system of private law reporting had been found wanting. Whilst a system of official law reporting was seen as preferable, the new State had no interest in conducting or financially supporting such an endeavour:

“In Queensland, however, the State deems itself concerned with the Statute Law only, and in the absence of the State the only bodies competent to deal with Law Reporting are the Bench and the Legal Profession. These two bodies are both represented on the Committee of the Supreme Court Library, which is authorised by the Library Rules to apply the Library Fund to the purpose of reporting the decisions of the Supreme Court.”

At the time, the Library Committee was led by the Chief Justice of Queensland, Sir Samuel Griffith. Over the course of a year, a sub-committee developed a proposal for the establishment of a local Council of Law Reporting based on the English model. As in England, there was to be a series of authorised reports (State Reports of Queensland) and a weekly publication (Queensland Weekly Notes) to provide “short notices of cases determined during the preceding week and such other matter as may be of interest to the Profession. Special attention will be given to Practice cases.”

The inaugural Council of Law Reporting was established in December 1901. It was led by Sir Samuel Griffith, and included the Attorney-General (Sir Arthur Rutledge), the Registrar of the Supreme Court (Mr John Blood-Smyth), three barristers (Messrs Feez, EM Lilley and Macgregor) and three solicitors (Messrs Chambers, Byram and Morris).

After a period of consolidation, the Council of Law Reporting was then restructured to its final corporate form. On 7 November 1907, the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for the State of Queensland was formed as a company limited by guarantee. It then continued to publish the State Reports of Queensland, the Queensland Weekly Notes and the newly established Queensland Law Reporter.

See further:

Helen Gregory, Capturing Law and History: One Hundred Years of Queensland Law Reporting (SCQL, 2007).