Presentation on theme: "The court hierarchy: civil disputes. The Hierarchy Just like in criminal matters, the court hierarchy assists in resolving civil disputes. Disputes should."— Presentation transcript:
The Hierarchy Just like in criminal matters, the court hierarchy assists in resolving civil disputes. Disputes should be referred to different courts on the basis of seriousness and the sum of money involved in the case. Each court has its own original and appellate jurisdiction.
Generally, the lower the court, the less serious the case. Magistrates= least serious allegations Supreme Court= most complex civil disputes
Magistrates Hears civil cases involving contracts, torts and claims Original jurisdiction: claims up to $100,000 (less than $10,000 referred to arbitration) Appellate jurisdiction: none
County Court Original jurisdiction: Unlimited Litigants can choose to have their case heard in either the Supreme or the County Court Appellate jurisdiction: no appellate civil jurisdiction
Supreme Court (trial division) Original jurisdiction: unlimited; tends to hear the cases with substantial claims. People can choose to have their case heard in the County or the Supreme Court Appellate jurisdiction: appeals on points of law from the Magistrates’ Court and VCAT
Supreme Court (Court of Appeal) Original jurisdiction: no original jurisdiction Appellate jurisdiction: Appeals from the County or Supreme Court on a point of law, decisions as to facts or amount of damages
Specialist courts Children’s Court: hears cases concerning people aged under 17 years. Family Court: Federal court- hears applications for divorce, parenting orders, spousal and child maintenance and custody Federal Court: hears cases involving particular federal laws (trade practices etc)
Reasons for a court hierarchy Expertise- courts can specialise (ie Family Court) Efficient use of resources- personnel trained in certain areas Appeals- if a person is dissatisfied with a decision they can take it to a higher court. Precedent- a higher courts sets the precedent for the lower courts.