Australian Court Hierarchy

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Distinguish between the federal court hierarchy and the state court hierarchy . By: Ali Younis Introduction: Australia is a federation and as a result there are two levels of law that apply: state and federal law. The Australian constitution grants certain legal powers to the commonwealth (Federal) Government and others to the state and territory governments. Consequently there are separate state and federal jurisdictions, each having it’s own court structure. Paragraph 1: All courts have an original jurisdiction; that is, the power to hear certain cases for the first time. For example, the high court has original jurisdiction to hear matters relating to the constitution. In addition to the original jurisdiction, Many courts also have…show more content…
-The local court has two jurisdictions in which it hears matters: 1. Criminal Jurisdiction . All summary offences. Less serious crimes, such as drink driving and shoplifting. The magistrate deals with these matters determining guilt and issuing punishment. . Committal proceedings. Preliminary hearings for more serious offences, known as indictable offences. Police to demonstrate that have a prima facie (‘On the face of it’) case exists and there is enough sufficient evidence then the case will be scheduled for a trial in a higher court. 2. Civil jurisdiction – the court hears only relatively minor matters, such as debt claims. Matters involving up to $60 000 will be heard in court. Q) does it have appellate jurisdiction? No, Because it’s the lowest court There are over 160 Local Courts in New South Wales. Local Court cases are heard by a magistrate without a jury. It hears summary offences (offences of a less serious nature) as well as indictable offences and committal hearings. It hears civil claims up to $100,000 and has a Small Claims Division for claims less than $10,000. It also hears applications for Apprehended Violence Orders (AVOs). The magistrate can imprison offenders for up to three years. It is at the bottom of the Australian court…show more content…
The principles of stare decisis (binding law from higher courts) are the same as for the Federal Court. Appeals from the Family Court are heard by a "Full Court" of the Family Court (three to five judges). Appeals from the Full Court lie to the High Court of Australia, though special leave is required. A single judge of the Family Court may hear appeals in family law matters from the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia. Appeals from the Federal Magistrates Court must go to either of these courts (Federal Court or Family Court), dependent on the area of

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