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MAGISTRATES’ COURT OF VICTORIA Jurisdiction Jurisdiction the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria is the bottom tier of Victoria’s court hierarchy, and is established.

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Presentation on theme: "MAGISTRATES’ COURT OF VICTORIA Jurisdiction Jurisdiction the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria is the bottom tier of Victoria’s court hierarchy, and is established."— Presentation transcript:

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2 MAGISTRATES’ COURT OF VICTORIA Jurisdiction Jurisdiction the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria is the bottom tier of Victoria’s court hierarchy, and is established by the Magistrates’ Court Act the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria is the bottom tier of Victoria’s court hierarchy, and is established by the Magistrates’ Court Act the Court’s objective is to provide an efficient, modern and responsive Court of summary jurisdiction designed to meet the needs of the community. the Court’s objective is to provide an efficient, modern and responsive Court of summary jurisdiction designed to meet the needs of the community.

3 CRIMINAL JURISDICTION OF THE MAGISTRATES’ COURT Jurisdiction Jurisdiction The Magistrates’ Court has the jurisdiction to hear and determine: The Magistrates’ Court has the jurisdiction to hear and determine: summary offences, and summary offences, and some indictable offences some indictable offences Summary Offences Summary Offences A summary offence is a minor offence, and includes: A summary offence is a minor offence, and includes: road traffic offence (careless driving, drink driving and unlicensed driving) road traffic offence (careless driving, drink driving and unlicensed driving) minor assaults minor assaults property damage, and property damage, and offensive behaviour offensive behaviour A summary offence may be heard in the absence of the defendant

4 CRIMINAL JURISDICTION OF THE MAGISTRATES’ COURT Indictable Offences Indictable Offences An indictable offence is a serious offence, and includes: An indictable offence is a serious offence, and includes: burglary burglary indecent assault indecent assault drug trafficking offences drug trafficking offences Some indictable offences can be triable summarily (heard in the Magistrates’ Court if): Some indictable offences can be triable summarily (heard in the Magistrates’ Court if): the prosecution and the defendant agree the prosecution and the defendant agree

5 CRIMINAL JURISDICTION OF THE MAGISTRATES’ COURT Types of Hearings – Types of Hearings – Cases are heard and determined in a number of ways: Cases are heard and determined in a number of ways: pleas pleas hearings, and hearings, and committal hearings committal hearings Plea – A plea is where the defendant admits to the charge and pleads guilty Plea – A plea is where the defendant admits to the charge and pleads guilty Hearing – A hearing will be held where the defendant does not admit the charge and pleads not guilty Hearing – A hearing will be held where the defendant does not admit the charge and pleads not guilty The evidence will be heard by a magistrate who will determine whether or not the defendant is guilty of the offence

6 CRIMINAL JURISDICTION OF THE MAGISTRATES’ COURT Committal Hearing Committal Hearing A committal hearing will be held in cases where a person has been charged with an indictable offence, unless: A committal hearing will be held in cases where a person has been charged with an indictable offence, unless: it is heard summarily it is heard summarily the defendant is pleading guilty to the charge, or the defendant is pleading guilty to the charge, or the defendant wishes to face trial without a committal hearing the defendant wishes to face trial without a committal hearing The purpose of a committal hearing is to: The purpose of a committal hearing is to: determine whether there is enough evidence for a ‘prima facie’ case to exist, eg: is there enough evidence to support a conviction determine whether there is enough evidence for a ‘prima facie’ case to exist, eg: is there enough evidence to support a conviction

7 CRIMINAL JURISDICTION OF THE MAGISTRATES’ COURT In summary, the Criminal Jurisdiction of the Magistrates’ Court is to hear: In summary, the Criminal Jurisdiction of the Magistrates’ Court is to hear: summary offences summary offences indictable offences that can be tried summarily indictable offences that can be tried summarily committal hearings committal hearings Appeals: In criminal cases a defendant may appeal against a conviction or sentence to the County Court Appeals: In criminal cases a defendant may appeal against a conviction or sentence to the County Court

8 CIVIL JURISDICTION OF THE MAGISTRATES’ COURT Jurisdiction Jurisdiction The Magistrates’ Court has the jurisdiction to hear and determine most civil disputes with a claim of up to $100,000, including cases for: The Magistrates’ Court has the jurisdiction to hear and determine most civil disputes with a claim of up to $100,000, including cases for: money owed money owed damages arising from motor vehicle accidents damages arising from motor vehicle accidents personal injury, or personal injury, or contractual disputes contractual disputes Arbitration Arbitration The monetary claim for less than $10,000 will usually be referred to arbitration, where the matter will be heard and determined by a Magistrate in a less formal manner than that of a hearing The monetary claim for less than $10,000 will usually be referred to arbitration, where the matter will be heard and determined by a Magistrate in a less formal manner than that of a hearing Appeals in Civil Cases Appeals in Civil Cases A party in a civil proceeding: A party in a civil proceeding: cannot appeal a magistrate’s decision to the County Court, but cannot appeal a magistrate’s decision to the County Court, but may appeal to the Supreme Court on a question of law may appeal to the Supreme Court on a question of law

9 PERIN COURT Jurisdiction Jurisdiction The PERIN Court (Penalty Enforcement by Registration of Infringement Notice) is part of the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria The PERIN Court (Penalty Enforcement by Registration of Infringement Notice) is part of the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria Role of the Court Role of the Court The role of the PERIN Court is to order the payment and recovery of unpaid fines without the need for such matters to go before a magistrate The role of the PERIN Court is to order the payment and recovery of unpaid fines without the need for such matters to go before a magistrate Approximately 450,000 unpaid infringement notices are registered with the PERIN Court each year Approximately 450,000 unpaid infringement notices are registered with the PERIN Court each year Any individual who has received an infringement notice may elect to have the matter dealt with by a magistrate in open court Any individual who has received an infringement notice may elect to have the matter dealt with by a magistrate in open court

10 PERIN COURT Infringement penalties and notices Infringement penalties and notices An infringement penalty is a fine imposed for committing a minor offence that would usually be uncontested at court, such as a: An infringement penalty is a fine imposed for committing a minor offence that would usually be uncontested at court, such as a: traffic offence traffic offence parking offence, and parking offence, and littering offence littering offence

11 CHILDREN’S COURT OF VICTORIA Children’s Court of Victoria Children’s Court of Victoria The Court is divided into two Divisions as follows: The Court is divided into two Divisions as follows: the Criminal Division, and the Criminal Division, and the Family Division the Family Division Criminal Division of the Children’s Court Criminal Division of the Children’s Court Jurisdiction Jurisdiction The Criminal Division of the Children’s Court deals with cases where defendants were aged between ten and less than seventeen years at the time of allegedly committing the offence before the Court The Criminal Division of the Children’s Court deals with cases where defendants were aged between ten and less than seventeen years at the time of allegedly committing the offence before the Court If the defendant has reached the age of eighteen years by the time the case appears before the Court, the Magistrates’ Court will deal with the matter If the defendant has reached the age of eighteen years by the time the case appears before the Court, the Magistrates’ Court will deal with the matter

12 CHILDREN’S COURT OF VICTORIA Criminal Division of the Children’s Court continued: Criminal Division of the Children’s Court continued: Jurisdiction Jurisdiction The Court can hear and determine all charges except the following, which must be heard and determined in the Supreme Court: The Court can hear and determine all charges except the following, which must be heard and determined in the Supreme Court: murder murder attempted murder attempted murder manslaughter manslaughter arson causing death, and arson causing death, and culpable driving causing death culpable driving causing death Types of penalties Types of penalties The types of orders that can be made in the Criminal Division of the Children’s Court include: The types of orders that can be made in the Criminal Division of the Children’s Court include: undertakings undertakings good behaviour bonds good behaviour bonds fines fines youth supervision orders youth supervision orders youth attendance orders, and youth attendance orders, and youth training centre orders youth training centre orders

13 CRIMINAL DIVISION OF THE CHILDREN’S COURT Appeals Appeals A party to a proceeding may appeal: A party to a proceeding may appeal: to the County Court against a sentencing order of a magistrate, and to the County Court against a sentencing order of a magistrate, and to the Trial Division of the Supreme Court against a sentencing order of the President to the Trial Division of the Supreme Court against a sentencing order of the President A party to a proceeding may appeal to the Trial Division of the Supreme Court on a question of law A party to a proceeding may appeal to the Trial Division of the Supreme Court on a question of law Family Division of the Children’s Court Family Division of the Children’s Court Jurisdiction Jurisdiction The Family Division of the Children’s Court has the jurisdiction to hear and determine matters including: The Family Division of the Children’s Court has the jurisdiction to hear and determine matters including: interim accommodation orders interim accommodation orders a finding that a child is in need of protection a finding that a child is in need of protection protection orders, and protection orders, and permanent care orders permanent care orders

14 Coroner’s Court Role of Coroner Role of Coroner The State Coroner is responsible for ensuring that all reportable deaths are investigated: The State Coroner is responsible for ensuring that all reportable deaths are investigated: A coroner investigating a death must find, if possible: A coroner investigating a death must find, if possible: the identity of the deceased the identity of the deceased how the death occurred how the death occurred the cause of death, and the cause of death, and the details needed to register the death with the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages the details needed to register the death with the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages A coroner may: A coroner may: comment on any matter connected with a reportable death, including issues of public health and safety or the administration of justice, in an attempt to prevent similar deaths occurring again, and comment on any matter connected with a reportable death, including issues of public health and safety or the administration of justice, in an attempt to prevent similar deaths occurring again, and investigate fires that are of public significance investigate fires that are of public significance

15 Coroner’s Court Reportable deaths Reportable deaths A reportable death occurs when a person dies:: A reportable death occurs when a person dies:: unexpectedly unexpectedly in a violent or unnatural way in a violent or unnatural way from an accident or injury from an accident or injury during or as a result of an anaesthetic during or as a result of an anaesthetic while held in care (for example, in prison, police custody or a psychiatric institution) while held in care (for example, in prison, police custody or a psychiatric institution) the deceased’s identity is not known, or the deceased’s identity is not known, or a doctor has been unable to sign a death certificate detailing the cause of death a doctor has been unable to sign a death certificate detailing the cause of death

16 COUNTY COURT OF VICTORIA Jurisdiction Jurisdiction The County Court of Victoria is the middle tier of Victoria’s court hierarchy, and is established by the County Court Act 1958 The County Court of Victoria is the middle tier of Victoria’s court hierarchy, and is established by the County Court Act 1958 The Court has a criminal, civil and appellate (appeals) jurisdiction The Court has a criminal, civil and appellate (appeals) jurisdiction Criminal jurisdiction Criminal jurisdiction The Court can hear all indictable offences except the following: which must be heard in the Supreme Court: The Court can hear all indictable offences except the following: which must be heard in the Supreme Court: murder murder attempted murder attempted murder treason treason

17 COUNTY COURT OF VICTORIA Criminal jurisdiction continued: Examples of criminal offences heard in the Country Court include: Examples of criminal offences heard in the Country Court include: drug trafficking and associated offences drug trafficking and associated offences serious assaults serious assaults serious theft serious theft sex offences such as rape, and sex offences such as rape, and obtaining financial advantage by deception (eg: dishonoured or stolen cheques) obtaining financial advantage by deception (eg: dishonoured or stolen cheques) culpable driving culpable driving armed robbers armed robbers Civil jurisdiction of County Court Civil jurisdiction of County Court The Court has an unlimited jurisdiction to hear cases where a claim is for compensation where a person is injured or has died. The Court has an unlimited jurisdiction to hear cases where a claim is for compensation where a person is injured or has died. In other civil matters, such as breach of contract, the Court’s jurisdiction is limited to $200,000. In other civil matters, such as breach of contract, the Court’s jurisdiction is limited to $200,000.

18 SUPREME COURT OF VICTORIA The Court is divided into two Divisions: The Court is divided into two Divisions: the Trial Division, and the Trial Division, and the Court of Appeal the Court of Appeal Types of cases heard: Types of cases heard: Examples of types of cases heard in the Trial Division include: Examples of types of cases heard in the Trial Division include: Criminal Criminal all cases of treason, murder and attempted murder all cases of treason, murder and attempted murder Civil Civil personal injury actions involving large or complex claims that are heard by a judge, or a judge and jury (unlimited amounts generally over $200,000) personal injury actions involving large or complex claims that are heard by a judge, or a judge and jury (unlimited amounts generally over $200,000) Court of Appeal Court of Appeal The Court of Appeal determines matters including applications for new trials and appeals against decisions of: The Court of Appeal determines matters including applications for new trials and appeals against decisions of: the trial Division of the Supreme Court the trial Division of the Supreme Court the County Court, and the County Court, and the President and Vice Presidents of VCAT the President and Vice Presidents of VCAT

19 HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA Role of the Court Role of the Court the High Court is the highest court in the Australian judicial system. It was established in 1901 by Section 71 of the Constitution the High Court is the highest court in the Australian judicial system. It was established in 1901 by Section 71 of the Constitution the functions of the High Court are to interpret and apply the law of Australia; to decide cases of special federal significance including challenges to the constitutional validity of laws and to hear appeals; by special leave, from Federal, State and Territory courts the functions of the High Court are to interpret and apply the law of Australia; to decide cases of special federal significance including challenges to the constitutional validity of laws and to hear appeals; by special leave, from Federal, State and Territory courts the seat of the High Court is in Canberra the seat of the High Court is in Canberra decisions of the High Court are binding on all other courts throughout Australia decisions of the High Court are binding on all other courts throughout Australia


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