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Report of Committee to authorize the establishment of a Court of Inquiry


The Order of the Day was moved for.

The Report of the Committee appointed to bring in a Resolve for establishing a Court of Inquiry, was read; and is as follows, viz:

"Whereas, it appears to this Congress that a want of a due and regular execution of Justice in this Colony has encouraged divers wicked and disorderly persons not only to commit outrages and trespasses upon private property and private persons, but also to make the most daring attacks upon the Constitution, and to unite in their endeavours to disturb the peace and destroy the happiness and security of their Country: and whereas, this Congress conceive it to be their indispensable duty to take effectual measures to restrain all disorders and promote the peace and happiness of this Colony, by the execution of Justice in criminal matters: therefore,

"Resolved, That a Court of Inquiry be immediately erected, consisting of seven persons, to be chosen by this Congress, whose duty it shall be to hear all complaints against any person or persons for treason against the Constitution of their Country, or other breaches of the publick peace and security, and to determine and make up judgment thereon, according to the laws of this Province, and those of reason and equity: no judgments to be made up or punishments inflicted in consequence of them, unless in such cases where five of the Judges so appointed were agreed; any three of said Judges to have power, upon complaint made, to cause any person or persons complained of to be imprisoned until the said Court can be convened to hear the same, or for any further orders of Congress which may be thought necessary; five of said Judges to be a quorum, and to be vested with the full powers of the Court, and to meet and sit in such place or places as they shall agree on.

"Resolved, That ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ ˙be, and they hereby are appointed as Judges of the said Court of Inquiry, to execute the trust agreeably to the above Resolve."

After debate, the question was put, whether said Report be accepted? And it passed in the negative.