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New South Wales is a state founded for and upon the criminal law, and it has a fascinating history. In this carefully researched account of the history of its criminal law from settlement to Federation the author explains how Britain's criminal laws were established and developed in one of the empire's most successful colonies. Three themes run through this story: the horror and savagery of the criminal law transported to Australia and established there; the constitutional importance of basic criminal law rules requiring certainty of proof; and the corrupt but necessary role of mercy in the administration of the law.