N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 596



General Court

the powers of the Court. The General Court shall have original jurisdiction throughout the State in all cases, subject to rules of the Supreme Court.

2. The General Court shall be divided into a law section, to exercise civil, criminal and matrimonial jurisdiction, and an equity and probate section, to exercise all other jurisdiction of the court, each section having such parts as may be provided by rules of the Supreme Court.


Appeals and Appellate Divisions

1. There shall be established in the General Court at least two appellate divisions. Each appellate division shall consist of three justices of the General Court designated by rules of the Supreme Court who shall hear appeals from designated sections of the General Court and from the Municipal Courts. Such justices shall be annually assigned for that purpose by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

2. An appeal to the appellate division may be taken as a matter of right from any order of the General Court. Judgments and orders of an appellate division shall be final subject to an appeal to the Supreme Court.

3. The appellate courts, in addition to considering questions of law, may also set aside judgments, wholly or in part, where the finding of fact is against the weight of the evidence, or the verdict is excessive or inadequate. The appellate courts may exercise such original jurisdiction as may be incident to the complete determination of the controversy.

4. Appeals to the Supreme Court may be taken only:

  • (1) In capital cases and cases involving a constitutional question, which appeals shall be taken directly to the Supreme Court, and shall be preferred as to argument and disposition;  
  • (2) In the event of a dissenting opinion in an appellate division;  
  • (3) On certification of an appellate division; or,  
  • (4) On certification by the Supreme Court to any court.  


Judicial Officers

1. A Commission on Judicial Appointments shall be established to recommend a list of qualified candidates for judicial office as prescribed by law. This Commission shall be composed of the Chief Justice, three members of the Bar selected by the State Bar Association and three lay persons selected by the Governor.

2. The Governor shall appoint from the list submitted by Commission on Judicial Appointments, with the consent of the Senate, all judges of the Supreme Court and of the General Court.

3. Each justice of the Supreme Court shall, prior to his appointment, have completed a term as justice in the General Court, having served at least three years. Justices of the General Court shall, prior to their appointment, have been practicing attorneys in good standing for at least ten years.

4. The Chief Justice and associate justices of the Supreme Court shall be appointed to hold office during good behaviour. Justices of the General Court shall hold office for a term of seven years. At the end of this time, the Commission on Judicial Appointments shall hold a public hearing on the question of reappointing such justices. The Commission may thereupon recommend reappointment of the justice; or advise against his reappointment; or submit his name to the Governor, together with a list of other names deemed qualified for such appointment. If reappointed the justice shall hold office during good behaviour. The issue of good behaviour shall, with respect to justices of the Supreme Court, be triable by the Senate, and with respect to all other justices shall be triable by the Supreme Court. No justice shall continue in office after he has attained the age of seventy years.

5. The Supreme Court by rule not inconsistent with law, or the Legislature by law may provide for appointment by Commission on Judicial

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