N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 94

Wednesday, June 25, 1947 (Morning session)

judgment of the Supreme Court appealable as of right to the Court of Appeals. But, so far as statutory tribunals are concerned - statutory quasi-judicial tribunals are concerned - and inferior courts, we would require that an appeal be first taken to this Appellate Section of the Supreme Court, with further appeal to the Court of Appeals in certain limited categories and cases which we have specified in our report.

Now, I wanted to spend a few minutes on the prerogative writs. If you don't have the time -

VICE-CHAIRMAN: Well, it doesn't matter to me, except we had an elaborate discussion on prerogative writs by Mr. Hannoch yesterday.

MR. CONFORD: I know you did, and I don't want to trespass too much on what he said, except I do want to say this on behalf of our entire committee - we want to get across to this Committee that the viewpoint that Mr. Hannoch advanced yesterday was not peculiar to Mr. Hannoch or the State Bar Association. As a matter of fact, our own Essex County Bar Association collaborated through a committee, of which I was a member, with a committee of the State Bar Association, of which Mr. Hannoch was chairman.

MR. McGRATH: Are you in favor of Mr. Hannoch's proposal?

MR. CONFORD: In a broad sense. There are two ways of handling this, and our committee split with respect to these two broad ways. A majority of our committee are in favor of proposal number eight, which I think you, Judge McGrath, asked Mr. Schnitzer about, or one of the members of the Committee did, on the proposition for outright abolition of prerogative writs at this time.

MR. McGRATH: Were you with the majority on that?

MR. CONFORD: I was with the majority.

MR. McGRATH: Your plan would be, then, to abolish all writs, but then provide an appeal, as now provided, in lieu of the writ.

MR. CONFORD: In lieu of the writ, so far as it operates as an appeal mechanism. But for the trial of an action betwen the parties, as an original action - assimilate them to the class of original actions at law. The minority of our committee strongly feel that the Constitution should not itself abolish the prerogative writs, but they do agree with the one thing that absolutely should be done, and that is to eliminate the present constitutional protection of the majesty and exclusiveness of these writs in the Supreme Court, free and exempt from any legislative regulation or interference. That, we think, is a minimum which the lawyers of the State expect and would like to have from the Convention.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, Mr. Conford. I think I express the sentiments of the whole Committee that the work of the Essex Bar Committee has been of great help to us. Thank you

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