Claims up to $100000
Cases claiming less than $100000 decided by arbitration
No appellate Jurisdiction
Rehearing’s can take place in some circumstances (e.g. one of the parties do not appear)
(1 Judge and optional jury of 6)
Unlimited; litigants can choose to have their case heard in either the County Court or the Supreme Court
No appeals, unless under a specific act
Supreme Court (Trial Division)
(1 justice with an optional jury of 6)
Appeals on points of law from the Magistrates’ Court and Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (1 justice)
Supreme Court (Court of
With leave on a point of law, or question of fact, or amount of damages from a single judge of the County Court or Supreme Court and from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal when constituted by the president or vice-president
High Court *
A federal court but the highest court of appeal for the states
Matters arising under a treaty where the Commonwealth is a party
Full Court of the High Court *
(not less than 2 justices)
Special leave for appeal applications appeals against the decisions of the supreme courts of states and territories, the Federal Court of Australia and Family Court of Australia
Full Bench of the High Court *
(5–7 justices) interpretation of the Constitution cases where the court may be invited to depart from one of its previous decisions, or where the court considers the principle of law to be of major importance
The High Court is part of the federal court hierarchy, not the Victorian court hierarchy. The federal court hierarchy sits above the
Victorian court hierarchy in that appeals from the Supreme Court (Court of Appeal) are made to the High Court.
LEARNING ACTIVITY 6.1
The role of the court hierarchy in civil disputes
1 Explain the role of a court hierarchy.
The hierarchy allows the courts to specialise in particular areas; for example serious civil claims are heard in the County Court or Supreme Court where there is no limit on the amount of that can be claimed
2 Describe the civil jurisdiction of the Magistrates’ Court.
Minor civil disputes of up to $100 000 are heard in the Magistrates’ Court. When the amount sought in civil damages is less than $10 000, the Magistrates’ Court must refer the matter to arbitration
3 To which court can a civil matter be appealed from the Magistrates’ Court?
Litigants can choose to have their case heard in either the county court or the Supreme Court
4 Read the case study SDC (Vic.) Pty Ltd v. AL Davies, KM Davies and MK Gilligan and answer the questions.
a) What occurred in this case?
The defendant repeatedly failed to settle, which resulted in the contract finally being rescinded
b) Why was this case heard in the Magistrates’ Court?
Claims of up to $100,000 and under $100,000 must.
c) What type of process was tried first?
The plaintiff commenced legal proceedings against the defendant on 23 July 2009. Attempts at mediation failed
5 How does the jurisdiction of the Trial Division of the Supreme Court differ from the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal? Trial Division has unlimited (original jurisdiction) and Appeals on points of law from the Magistrates’ Court and Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal where as With leave on a point of law, or question of fact, or amount of damages from a single judge of the County Court or Supreme Court and from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal when constituted by the president or vice-president
6 Explain the jurisdiction of the High Court.
The jurisdiction of the high court is when matters arising under a treaty where the commonwealth is a party.
7 Read the case study ‘Landmark ruling: dress is a copy’ and answer the questions.
a What occurred in…