N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 247

Thursday, July 3, 1947 (Afternoon session)

Chancellor Bigelow's opinion was sounder in law than the Court of Errors and Appeals, but the point, Mr. Justice Brogan, I am trying to make is this - the courts have set forth what the inherent jurisdiction of the Court of Chancery is in labor disputes and that you cannot, according to our interpretation of the law, grant injunctions in certain cases because the Legislature has defined the public policy of this State. Now, when you modify, if you do not preserve the jurisdiction in the Court of Chancery in these injunction cases, the right might be lost, or modified, or limited. There's grave danger, in my mind.

The next point is this: that if you should simply say there shall be one court - heretofore we've obtained injunctive relief in the Court of Chancery under existing practice - it's incumbent, then, upon the framers of the Constitution, if we're going to have one court with two branches, to say in express terms what is equity and what is law. Because if you do not do that, then for the next hundred years you're going to have interpretations by our courts determining what originally was equity, what is equity today and what is law.

I'm only going to take one more minute and conclude ... There's been a lot of criticism of our existing practice in the Court of Chancery, and a good many members of the Bar feel that our practice in that court should be streamlined. It's already been stated, and it seems to be pretty generally known, that our new Chancellor had already appointed a committee to make recommendations to him about simplifying procedure in the Court of Chancery, and the activities of that committee were suspended as a matter of courtesy due to the fact that this Convention has been convoked. It's my opinion that if the Chancellor is given the opportunity, he can provide a new set of rules which will meet the present reasonable objections.

MR. BROGAN: He couldn't increase or decrease his jurisdiction.

MR. GILHOOLY: Oh, no, no. It's only the procedure. It's been said that it's complicated; for instance, the decree has to be enrolled - is there any necessity for enrolling decrees? - the pleadings have to be written out on the records of the court, and all those mechanical operations. He has a perfect right to modify his rules within his own jurisdiction, and that is the criticism to which I am referring - that it's too complex and that it takes too long and it's expensive.

MR. BROGAN: Well, do you have any objection to a Judicial Article, if it can be accomplished with legislative aid, which will permit the court the litigant has honestly invoked and which has jurisdiction over the main issue, let us say, of determining the thing in full?

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