legal system


The Judicial System

The Court House is located in the Old Military Barracks, Kingston.  The legal system is also known as the judicial system.  It consists of a number of different courts which make decisions on different types of cases.  These are:

  1.     The Court of Petty Sessions

  2.     The Coroner’s Court

  3.     The Supreme Court


The Court of Petty Sessions

The Court of Petty Sessions can deal with civil cases up to the value of  $10,000 but claims for more than that amount must be heard by the Supreme Court.  The Court of Petty Sessions cannot hear cases about land or major criminal offences. It can hear divorces provided both people agree.  If they can’t agree, the divorce is decided by the Family Court of Australia.


The Chief Magistrate is in charge of the Court of Petty sessions.  He or she is appointed from the Australian Capital Territory.  The Chief Magistrate may hear cases alone or with 2 of the lay magistrates.  There are 7 lay magistrates who are highly respected members of the community but they don’t have legal training.


The Coroner’s Court

The Coroner’s Court deals with inquests into the cause and manner of unexpected deaths.  It also inquires into the cause and origin of fires. The Chief Magistrate is in charge of the Coroner’s Court.


The Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is the most important court.  The Judge of the Supreme Court is usually a Federal Court Judge. The Supreme Court can hear appeals from the Court of Petty Sessions.