Why Do We Have a Court Hierarchy in Australia

Each of the states (with the exception of Tasmania) also has three levels of courts of general jurisdiction: the State Supreme Court, the District Court (called the County Court in Victoria) and the Local Court. Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory do not have intermediate courts. The supreme courts of states and territories are superior courts with general and unlimited jurisdiction in their own state or territory. County Court (Victoria) or District Court (NSW, South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia). It is an intermediate court that hears criminal proceedings for serious criminal offences. It is responsible for trying all but the most serious crimes, such as murder and manslaughter. Like the highest courts in the states, the family court and the federal court are superior courts, meaning they have certain inherent powers of procedure and contempt. However, unlike their state counterparts, their material jurisdiction must be transferred by law. However, under the doctrine of “acquired jurisdiction”, the Federal Supreme Court may rule on matters that do not fall within its express jurisdiction, provided that they form part of a broader controversy over which the court has jurisdiction. [1] Each state and territory has its own judicial hierarchy with different jurisdiction for each court.

However, all states and territories have a Supreme Court, which is a superior court and the highest court of that state or territory. These courts also have appellate divisions known by various names throughout the country, including the plenum, the Court of Appeal, and the Court of Appeal for criminal matters. Parliament passes laws called laws, statutes or laws. The role of the courts is to interpret and apply laws passed by Parliament. If there is no law that covers a particular issue, the law flows from the decisions of the courts. This set of decisions is called the common law. The higher a court is in the hierarchy, the greater the authority of its decisions for other courts. See also Precedents and evidence.

Courts are classified as superior courts or subordinate courts. The most important Australian high courts are: Federal Magistratesâ Court. This is a relatively new dish created in 1999. It was created to ease the workload of federal, family and state courts hearing federal cases. Much of the Federal Court`s workload involves bankruptcy, administrative law, copyright disputes and family law. It also hears a large number of migration cases, such as appeals against visas and refusals of residence. There are currently more than 60 federal judges on duty. The large number of Australian courts have different powers and procedural characteristics, different jurisdictional limits, different remedies and different cost structures. Some courts have special jurisdiction (e.g., juvenile court), so they only deal with cases in a narrow area, while other courts (such as state supreme courts) have general jurisdiction over a variety of cases. State and territory supreme courts are courts of general jurisdiction, since all matters fall within the general jurisdiction of a supreme court, unless expressly excluded. In three outer territories (Norfolk Island, Christmas Island and Cocos Islands (Keeling Islands), there is a Supreme Court and a Magistrates` Court or Court of Petty Sessions. Supreme courts are composed of judges from other courts, usually the Federal Court.

These courts can appeal to the Federal Court as a whole. As these areas have very small populations, the courts only meet from time to time, as required. The remaining outer territories (including Antarctica) do not have permanent courts. In the event of any dispute arising out of these territories, the courts of ACT shall have jurisdiction. [ref. needed] Appeals to the High Court are made only by special leave, which is normally granted only in cases of public interest, questions concerning the interpretation of the Constitution of the Commonwealth or cases where the law has been applied inconsistently in the states and territories. [18] As a result, in the vast majority of cases, the Appellate Chambers of the Supreme Courts of each State and Territory and the Federal Court are the most recent courts of appeal. Specialization. Since a court`s position in the hierarchy determines the type of cases it will handle, courts can gain experience in handling these cases. Courts, judges and judges become familiar with certain types of criminal or civil litigation. In doing so, they become familiar with the legislation, precedents, legal principles and legal procedures that apply to these cases.

This means there is often less need for search or review, speeding up processes and hearings and saving time and money. Hierarchies also allow for diversification and the creation of specialized courts for children, family law, drug offences and Koori offenders. Minor cases are dealt with locally and larger cases are dealt with by higher courts. The administration of justice will therefore be simplified. Because court staff have specialized knowledge, they can handle cases quickly, reducing delays and costs for the court. The Commonwealth has three levels of general federal courts: A table of the judicial hierarchy and civil and administrative courts of the Australian states and territories follows here: The doctrine of precedent. The doctrine of jurisprudence is based on the existence of a judicial hierarchy. Higher court judgments are binding on lower courts, so this system would not be feasible without a clear hierarchy. Binding precedents make it possible to decide and apply the law consistently and fairly for all. The High Court described the concept of superior court (and related terms derived from the position of preliminary common law courts) as “not being a ready-to-use application in Australia in federal courts”. [11] Despite this, Australian courts are often described as “superior” or “inferior”. The Federal Court of Justice[12] and the supreme courts of each state and territory are generally considered superior courts.