Chapter overview This chapter looks at the concepts of Court hierarchy Types of jurisdiction Hierarchy and jurisdiction of courts at both federal and state/territory levels Strengths and weaknesses of courts Alternative dispute resolution bodies and methods
The court hierarchy Where disputes between two parties are tried and resolved Ranked in a hierarchy that positions each court either above or below the other courts
The need for hierarchy Operation of the doctrine of precedent Specialisation Appeals system
Types of jurisdiction Original jurisdiction Appellate jurisdiction Criminal Jurisdiction Civil Jurisdiction
Original jurisdiction courts Each court in the hierarchy with original jurisdiction has power to decide upon a matter for the first time Often called courts of first instance
Appellate jurisdiction Gives courts the authority to review cases a second or third time on appeal The party who initiates an appeal is referred to as the appellant and the opposing party as the respondent Higher courts can reconsider the decisions of lower courts Only court without an appellate jurisdiction is Magistrates’ Court
Criminal jurisdiction Gives power to some courts to hear cases that are of a criminal nature Courts hear summary and indictable offences relative to the ranking of their particular court within the hierarchy
Civil jurisdiction Gives power to courts to hear cases which are breaches of areas of civil law such as tort, i.e. a civil wrong, and contract Each court has a civil jurisdiction that specifies the range of damages that that particular court has the power to reward
The High Court of Australia Original jurisdiction Appellate jurisdiction The Federal Court of Australia Original jurisdiction Appellate jurisdiction The Family Court of Australia Original jurisdiction Appellate jurisdiction The Commonwealth hierarchy of Australian courts
The Federal Magistrates Court Original jurisdiction Concurrent jurisdiction with Family Court Concurrent jurisdiction with the Federal Court Appellate jurisdiction...
State and territory Magistrates’ Courts Criminal jurisdiction Civil jurisdiction District Courts Criminal jurisdiction Civil jurisdiction Appellate jurisdiction The hierarchy of Australian state and territory courts
Supreme courts Criminal jurisdiction Civil jurisdiction Appellate jurisdiction Courts of Appeal Other state courts...
Cross vesting Allows a court action to be brought in one court Applied in situations where a civil case involves more than one jurisdiction
Strengths of court system Trials Doctrine of precedent Community involvement Specialisation and expertise Appeals
Weaknesses of court system Costs Delays due to appeals Unelected judges Binding precedents Rigid procedures
Alternative dispute resolution bodies Federal commissions The Australian Industrial Relations Commission The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) -Corporate Regulator -Markets Regulator -Financial Services Regulator
Federal tribunals The Australian Competition Tribunal The Administrative Appeals Tribunal State commissions and tribunals Industrial relations commissions Small claims tribunals...
Alternative dispute resolution methods Arbitration Mediation Conciliation Ombudsman
Legal regulatory bodies Each state and territory has a variety of legal regulatory bodies independent government Professional associations See Table 3.6, 3.7, 3.8
Chapter review In this chapter you have looked at Court hierarchy Types of jurisdiction Hierarchy and jurisdiction of courts at both federal and state/territory levels Strengths and weaknesses of courts Alternative dispute resolution bodies and methods