The Court of Petty Session, established from around the 1730s, was a local court consisting of magistrates held for a hundred in England, Wales, and Ireland. The session's work dealt with matters such as minor theft and larceny, assault, drunkenness, bastardy examinations, arbitration and deciding whether to refer a case to the Quarter Sessions. From 1872 the Courts of Petty Sessions were also responsible for approving licences to sell alcohol in ale houses and public houses. They were also later established in British colonies, including Australia.
They were abolished in New South Wales on 31 December 1984.
In England and Wales they were succeeded by magistrates' courts in the early 1970s.
- The Secret Barrister (Macmillan 2018) p. 52
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