Magistrates Court of Queensland
The Magistrates Court of Queensland is the lowest court in the court hierarchy of Queensland, Australia. All criminal proceedings in Queensland begin in the Magistrates Court, with minor offences being dealt with summarily, more serious ones being referred to a higher court on the strength of evidence. Most criminal cases are first heard in the Magistrates Court; the Magistrates Court hears 95% of all court cases in Queensland. Decisions made by the Magistrates Court may be heard on appeal to the District Court of Queensland; the Magistrates Court does not have an appellate jurisdiction. The Chief Magistrate of Queensland, since 2015, is Judge Ray Rinaudo; the Magistrates Court has the jurisdiction to decide on civil matters for which the amount in dispute is less than or equal to A$150,000. Civil matters in which the amount in dispute is more than $150,000 are decided by either the District Court or the Supreme Court; the Magistrates Court has the jurisdiction to decide on charges of summary offences, indictable offence which may be heard summarily.
The Magistrates Court conducts committal hearings in which the presiding magistrate decides, based on the strength of the evidence, whether to refer the matter to a higher court. Those present at court include the magistrate, police prosecutor, defendant and witnesses for either party, it is a condition that those who enter the court bow to the Queensland Coat of Arms, situated behind the Bench, upon entry. Plaintiffs, their counsel and witnesses must rise when they wish to address the bench or when addressed by the magistrate. Members of the media and general public are allowed into the courtroom, except where a party to the proceedings is under 18 in which case the court becomes a child court and the media and public will only have restricted access to the court. Di Fingleton Basil Gribbin Australian court hierarchy Judiciary of Australia List of Queensland courts and tribunals This Wikipedia article incorporates text from About Magistrates Courts published by the State of Queensland under CC-BY 3.0 AU licence.
Magistrates Courts Act 1921
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city of the Australian state of Victoria, the second most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Its name refers to an urban agglomeration of 9,992.5 km2, comprising a metropolitan area with 31 municipalities, is the common name for its city centre. The city occupies much of the coastline of Port Phillip bay and spreads into the hinterlands towards the Dandenong and Macedon ranges, Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley, it has a population of 4.9 million, its inhabitants are referred to as "Melburnians". The city was founded on 30 August 1835, in the then-British colony of New South Wales, by free settlers from the colony of Van Diemen’s Land, it was incorporated as a Crown settlement in 1837 and named in honour of the British Prime Minister, William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne. In 1851, four years after Queen Victoria declared it a city, Melbourne became the capital of the new colony of Victoria. In the wake of the 1850s Victorian gold rush, the city entered a lengthy boom period that, by the late 1880s, had transformed it into one of the world's largest and wealthiest metropolises.
After the federation of Australia in 1901, it served as interim seat of government of the new nation until Canberra became the permanent capital in 1927. Today, it is a leading financial centre in the Asia-Pacific region and ranks 15th in the Global Financial Centres Index; the city is home to many of the best-known cultural institutions in the nation, such as the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the National Gallery of Victoria and the World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building. It is the birthplace of Australian impressionism, Australian rules football, the Australian film and television industries and Australian contemporary dance. More it has been recognised as a UNESCO City of Literature and a global centre for street art, live music and theatre, it is the host city of annual international events such as the Australian Grand Prix, the Australian Open and the Melbourne Cup, has hosted the 1956 Summer Olympics and the 2006 Commonwealth Games. Due to it rating in entertainment and sport, as well as education, health care and development, the EIU ranks it the second most liveable city in the world.
The main airport serving the city is Melbourne Airport, the second busiest in Australia, Australia's busiest seaport the Port of Melbourne. Its main metropolitan rail terminus is Flinders Street station and its main regional rail and road coach terminus is Southern Cross station, it has the most extensive freeway network in Australia and the largest urban tram network in the world. Indigenous Australians have lived in the Melbourne area for an estimated 31,000 to 40,000 years; when European settlers arrived in the 19th-century, under 2,000 hunter-gatherers from three regional tribes—the Wurundjeri and Wathaurong—inhabited the area. It was an important meeting place for the clans of the Kulin nation alliance and a vital source of food and water; the first British settlement in Victoria part of the penal colony of New South Wales, was established by Colonel David Collins in October 1803, at Sullivan Bay, near present-day Sorrento. The following year, due to a perceived lack of resources, these settlers relocated to Van Diemen's Land and founded the city of Hobart.
It would be 30 years. In May and June 1835, John Batman, a leading member of the Port Phillip Association in Van Diemen's Land, explored the Melbourne area, claimed to have negotiated a purchase of 600,000 acres with eight Wurundjeri elders. Batman selected a site on the northern bank of the Yarra River, declaring that "this will be the place for a village" before returning to Van Diemen's Land. In August 1835, another group of Vandemonian settlers arrived in the area and established a settlement at the site of the current Melbourne Immigration Museum. Batman and his group arrived the following month and the two groups agreed to share the settlement known by the native name of Dootigala. Batman's Treaty with the Aborigines was annulled by Richard Bourke, the Governor of New South Wales, with compensation paid to members of the association. In 1836, Bourke declared the city the administrative capital of the Port Phillip District of New South Wales, commissioned the first plan for its urban layout, the Hoddle Grid, in 1837.
Known as Batmania, the settlement was named Melbourne in 1837 after the British Prime Minister, William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne, whose seat was Melbourne Hall in the market town of Melbourne, Derbyshire. That year, the settlement's general post office opened with that name. Between 1836 and 1842, Victorian Aboriginal groups were dispossessed of their land by European settlers. By January 1844, there were said to be 675 Aborigines resident in squalid camps in Melbourne; the British Colonial Office appointed five Aboriginal Protectors for the Aborigines of Victoria, in 1839, however their work was nullified by a land policy that favoured squatters who took possession of Aboriginal lands. By 1845, fewer than 240 wealthy Europeans held all the pastoral licences issued in Victoria and became a powerful political and economic force in Victoria for generations to come. Letters patent of Queen Victoria, issued on 25 June 1847, declared Melbourne a city. On 1 July 1851, the Port Phillip District separated from New South Wales to become the Colony of Victoria, with Melbourne as its capital.
The discovery of gold in Victoria in mid-1851 sparked a
Divorce known as dissolution of marriage, is the process of terminating a marriage or marital union. Divorce entails the canceling or reorganizing of the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage, thus dissolving the bonds of matrimony between a married couple under the rule of law of the particular country or state. Divorce laws vary around the world, but in most countries divorce requires the sanction of a court or other authority in a legal process, which may involve issues of distribution of property, child custody, child visitation / access, parenting time, child support, division of debt. In most countries, monogamy is required by law, so divorce allows each former partner to marry another person. Divorce is different from annulment, which declares the marriage null and void, with legal separation or de jure separation or with de facto separation. Reasons for divorce vary, from sexual incompatibility or lack of independence for one or both spouses to a personality clash; the only countries that do not allow divorce are the Philippines, the Vatican City and the British Crown Dependency of Sark.
In the Philippines, divorce for non-Muslim Filipinos is not legal unless the husband or wife is an alien and satisfies certain conditions. The Vatican City is an ecclesiastical state. Countries that have recently legalized divorce are Italy, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Ireland and Malta. Grounds for divorce vary from country to country. Marriage may be seen as a status, or a combination of these. Where it is seen as a contract, the refusal or inability of one spouse to perform the obligations stipulated in the contract may constitute a ground for divorce for the other spouse. In contrast, in some countries, divorce is purely no fault. Many jurisdictions offer both the option of a no fault divorce as well as an at fault divorce; this is the case, for example, in many US states. Though divorce laws vary between jurisdictions, there are two basic approaches to divorce: fault based and no-fault based; however in some jurisdictions that do not require a party to claim fault of their partner, a court may still take into account the behavior of the parties when dividing property, evaluating custody, shared care arrangements and support.
In some jurisdictions one spouse may be forced to pay the attorney's fees of another spouse. Laws vary as to the waiting period. Residency requirements vary. However, issues of division of property are determined by the law of the jurisdiction in which the property is located. In Europe, divorce laws differ from country to country, reflecting differing legal and cultural traditions. In some countries in some former communist countries, divorce can be obtained only on one single general ground of "irretrievable breakdown of the marriage". Yet, what constitutes such a "breakdown" of the marriage is interpreted differently from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, ranging from liberal interpretations to quite restrictive ones. Separation constitutes a ground of divorce in some European countries. Note that "separation" does not mean separate residences – in some jurisdictions, living in the same household but leading a separate life is sufficient to constitute de facto separation. Divorce laws are not static.
In the 21st century, many European countries have made changes to their divorce laws, in particular by reducing the length of the necessary periods of separation, e.g. Scotland in 2006; some countries have overhauled their divorce laws, such as Spain in 2005, Portugal in 2008. A new divorce law came into force in September 2007 in Belgium, creating a new system, no-fault. Bulgaria modified its divorce regulations in 2009. In Italy, new laws came into force in 2014 and 2015 with significant changes in Italian law in matter of divorce: apart from shortening of the period of obligatory separation, are allowed other forms of getting a divorce – as an alternative to court proceedings, i.e. the negotiations with the participation of an advocate or agreement made before the registrar of Public Registry Office. Austria, instead, is a European country; the liberalization of divorce laws is not without opposition in the United States. Indeed, in the US, certain conservative and religious organizations are lobbying for laws which restrict divorce.
In 2011, in the US, the Coalition for Divorce Refor
In law, an appeal is the process in which cases are reviewed, where parties request a formal change to an official decision. Appeals function both as a process for error correction as well as a process of clarifying and interpreting law. Although appellate courts have existed for thousands of years, common law countries did not incorporate an affirmative right to appeal into their jurisprudence until the 19th century. Appellate courts and other systems of error correction have existed for many millennia. During the first dynasty of Babylon and his governors served as the highest appellate courts of the land. Ancient Roman law employed a complex hierarchy of appellate courts, where some appeals would be heard by the emperor. Additionally, appellate courts have existed in Japan since at least the Kamakura Shogunate. During this time, the Shogunate established hikitsuke, a high appellate court to aid the state in adjudicating lawsuits. In the Eighteenth century, William Blackstone observed in his Commentaries on the Laws of England that appeals existed as a form of error correction in the common law during the reign of Edward III of England.
Although some scholars argue that "the right to appeal is itself a substantive liberty interest", the notion of a right to appeal is a recent advent in common law jurisdictions. In fact, commentators have observed that common law jurisdictions were "slow to incorporate a right to appeal into either its civil or criminal jurisprudence". For example, the United States first created a system of federal appellate courts in 1789, but a federal right to appeal did not exist in the United States until 1889, when Congress passed the Judiciary Act to permit appeals in capital cases. Two years the right to appeals was extended to other criminal cases, the United States Courts of Appeals were established to review decisions from district courts; some states, such as Minnesota, still do not formally recognize a right to criminal appeals. Although some courts permit appeals at preliminary stages of litigation, most litigants appeal final orders and judgments from lower courts. A fundamental premise of many legal systems is that appellate courts review questions of law de novo, but appellate courts do not conduct independent fact-finding.
Instead, appellate courts will defer to the record established by the trial court, unless some error occurred during the fact-finding process. Many jurisdictions provide a statutory or constitutional right for litigants to appeal adverse decisions. However, most jurisdictions recognize that this right may be waived. In the United States, for example, litigants may waive the right to appeal, as long as the waiver is "considered and intelligent"; the appellate process begins when an appellate court grants a party's petition for review or petition for certiorari. Unlike trials, appeals are presented to a judge, or a panel of judges, rather than a jury. Before making any formal argument, parties will submit legal briefs in which the parties present their arguments. Appellate courts may grant permission for an amicus curiae to submit a brief in support of a particular party or position. After submitting briefs, parties have the opportunity to present an oral argument to a judge or panel of judges. During oral arguments, judges ask question to attorneys to challenge their arguments or to advance their own legal theories.
After deliberating in chambers, appellate courts will issue formal opinions that resolve the legal issues presented for review. When considering cases on appeal, appellate courts affirm, reverse, or vacate the decision of a lower court; some courts maintain a dual function, where they consider both appeals as well as matters of "first instance". For example, the Supreme Court of the United States hears cases on appeal but retains original jurisdiction over a limited range of cases; some jurisdictions maintain a system of intermediate appellate courts, which are subject to the review of higher appellate courts. The highest appellate court in a jurisdiction is sometimes referred to as a "court of last resort". Civil procedure List of legal topics Judicial review Appellate procedure in the United States Scope of review
Local Court of New South Wales
The Local Court of New South Wales is the lowest court in the judicial hierarchy of the Australian state of New South Wales. Known as the Court of Petty Sessions and the Magistrates Court, there are more than 160 branches across New South Wales where the Local Court has jurisdiction to deal with the majority of minor civil and criminal matters. Matters are heard before a single magistrate sitting without a jury, addressed as "Your Honour" or "Sir"; the Local Court has no jurisdiction for claims in equity. On appeal, matters may be heard by the District Court of New South Wales including appeals against the sentence or conviction decided in the Local Court; the Chief Magistrate of the Local Court is Judge Graeme Henson, appointed in 2006. In 1788, following the landing of the First Fleet and establishment of the Colony of New South Wales, the power and authority of the first criminal and civil courts in the Colony of New South Wales were vested by the Charter of Justice; the first Local Court courthouse was constructed in 1821 at Windsor, 56 kilometres northwest of Sydney.
The Local Court of New South Wales hears civil matters of a monetary value of up to $100,000. In addition to this, the Local Court, via its Small Claims Division, hears claims for less than $10,000 and hears applications for Apprehended Violence Orders; the local court has limited jurisdiction under the Family Law Act 1975 to hear and determine family law matters. The local court can deal with applications such as property settlements and residence orders. A magistrate can imprison offenders for no more than two years per sentence and no more than the maximum of five years for multiple sentences; the Children's Court is a division within the Local Court that hears matters involving minors, or those that have not yet reached the age of 18, is a closed court. The press may not publish the identity of the offender; the Coroner's Court is another division within the Local Court that investigates violent or unnatural deaths, suspicious fires and/or explosions, but it cannot make orders to punish offenders.
Coroners may, terminate their proceedings and pass on their findings onto state or federal Directors of Public Prosecutions for initiation of proceedings in another court at their discretion. Courthouses in New South Wales List of New South Wales courts and tribunals Victims Compensation Tribunal Official website Practice Notes - Local Courts New South Wales Chief Magistrate - Local Courts New South Wales
Western Australia is a state occupying the entire western third of Australia. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the north and west, the Southern Ocean to the south, the Northern Territory to the north-east, South Australia to the south-east. Western Australia is Australia's largest state, with a total land area of 2,529,875 square kilometres, the second-largest country subdivision in the world, surpassed only by Russia's Sakha Republic; the state has about 2.6 million inhabitants – around 11 percent of the national total – of whom the vast majority live in the south-west corner, 79 per cent of the population living in the Perth area, leaving the remainder of the state sparsely populated. The first European visitor to Western Australia was the Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog, who visited the Western Australian coast in 1616; the first European settlement of Western Australia occurred following the landing by Major Edmund Lockyer on 26 December 1826 of an expedition on behalf of the New South Wales colonial government.
He established a convict-supported military garrison at King George III Sound, at present-day Albany, on 21 January 1827 formally took possession of the western third of the continent for the British Crown. This was followed by the establishment of the Swan River Colony in 1829, including the site of the present-day capital, Perth. York was the first inland settlement in Western Australia. Situated 97 kilometres east of Perth, it was settled on 16 September 1831. Western Australia achieved responsible government in 1890 and federated with the other British colonies in Australia in 1901. Today, its economy relies on mining, agriculture and tourism; the state produces 46 per cent of Australia's exports. Western Australia is the second-largest iron ore producer in the world. Western Australia is bounded to the east by longitude 129°E, the meridian 129 degrees east of Greenwich, which defines the border with South Australia and the Northern Territory, bounded by the Indian Ocean to the west and north.
The International Hydrographic Organization designates the body of water south of the continent as part of the Indian Ocean. The total length of the state's eastern border is 1,862 km. There are 20,781 km including 7,892 km of island coastline; the total land area occupied by the state is 2.5 million km2. The bulk of Western Australia consists of the old Yilgarn craton and Pilbara craton which merged with the Deccan Plateau of India and the Karoo and Zimbabwe cratons of Southern Africa, in the Archean Eon to form Ur, one of the oldest supercontinents on Earth. In May 2017, evidence of the earliest known life on land may have been found in 3.48-billion-year-old geyserite and other related mineral deposits uncovered in the Pilbara craton. Because the only mountain-building since has been of the Stirling Range with the rifting from Antarctica, the land is eroded and ancient, with no part of the state above 1,245 metres AHD. Most of the state is a low plateau with an average elevation of about 400 metres low relief, no surface runoff.
This descends sharply to the coastal plains, in some cases forming a sharp escarpment. The extreme age of the landscape has meant that the soils are remarkably infertile and laterised. Soils derived from granitic bedrock contain an order of magnitude less available phosphorus and only half as much nitrogen as soils in comparable climates in other continents. Soils derived from extensive sandplains or ironstone are less fertile, nearly devoid of soluble phosphate and deficient in zinc, copper and sometimes potassium and calcium; the infertility of most of the soils has required heavy application by farmers of fertilizers. These have resulted in damage to bacterial populations; the grazing and use of hoofed mammals and heavy machinery through the years have resulted in compaction of soils and great damage to the fragile soils. Large-scale land clearing for agriculture has damaged habitats for native fauna; as a result, the South West region of the state has a higher concentration of rare, threatened or endangered flora and fauna than many areas of Australia, making it one of the world's biodiversity "hot spots".
Large areas of the state's wheatbelt region have problems with dryland salinity and the loss of fresh water. The southwest coastal area has a Mediterranean climate, it was heavily forested, including large stands of karri, one of the tallest trees in the world. This agricultural region is one of the nine most bio-diverse terrestrial habitats, with a higher proportion of endemic species than most other equivalent regions. Thanks to the offshore Leeuwin Current, the area is one of the top six regions for marine biodiversity and contains the most southerly coral reefs in the world. Average annual rainfall varies from 300 millimetres at the edge of the Wheatbelt region to 1,400 millimetres in the wettest areas near Northcliffe, but from November to March, evaporation exceeds rainfall, it is very dry. Plants are adapted to this as well as the extreme poverty of all soils; the central two-thirds of the state is sparsely inhabited. The only significant economic activity is mining. Annual rainfall averages less than 300 millimetres, most of which occurs in sporadic torrential falls related to cyclone events in summer.
An exception to this is
Supreme Court of Victoria
The Supreme Court of Victoria is the superior court for the State of Victoria, Australia. It was founded in 1852, is a superior court of common law and equity, with unlimited jurisdiction within the state; those courts lying below it include the County Court of Victoria and the Magistrates' Court of Victoria. The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, not a court, serves a judicial function. Above it lies the High Court of Australia; this places it around the middle of the Australian court hierarchy. The building itself is on the Victorian Heritage Register; the Supreme Court has the Court of Appeal. The Trial Division sits with one judge, acts as a court of original jurisdiction for serious criminal matters such as murder, attempted murder, corporate offences and certain conspiracy charges, civil matters which are considered to involve greater complexity or amounts of money more than would be appropriate to have determined in the Magistrates' Court or County Court; the Trial Division acts as an appeal court from the Magistrates' Court on questions of law, appeals from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal on points of law, except against an order of the President or Vice-President of the Tribunal.
It hears federal indictable offences such as treason. The Commercial Court is a sub-division of the Trial Division, composed of specialist judges to deal with commercial disputes; the Court of Appeal hears appeals from the County Court and the Trial Division, as well as appeals on points of law from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal against the order of the President or Vice-President, consists of a panel of three Judges of Appeal. In rare cases where it is sought to overrule or reconsider the correctness of a previous Court of Appeal decision, it can sit with five judges; the main buildings for the Supreme Court are located at the corner of William and Lonsdale Streets in Melbourne and in nearby buildings. The Supreme Court does circuits to Ballarat, Warrnambool, Horsham, Mildura, Wangaratta, Wodonga and Morwell. In these locations the Court uses the facilities of the local Magistrates' Court.: Anne Ferguson Chris Maxwell Pamela Tate Simon Whelan Phillip Priest David Beach Emilios Kyrou Stephen Kaye Stephen McLeish Richard Niall Kim Hargrave Terry Forrest Karin Emerton Elizabeth Hollingworth Kevin Bell Anthony Cavanough Ross Robson Jack Forrest James Judd Clyde Croft Michael Sifris Peter Almond John Dixon Cameron Macaulay Kate McMillan Gregory Garde Geoffrey John Digby James Dudley Elliott Timothy James Ginnane Melanie Sloss Michael Croucher Joanne Cameron Christopher William Beale Michael Phillip McDonald Rita Zammit Peter Julian Riordan Jane Dixon Andrew John Keogh Peter Barrington Kidd Maree Evelyn Kennedy Michelle Quigley John Champion Matthew Connock Melinda Richards Kevin Lyons Lesley Taylor Steven Moore Andrew Tinney Judiciary of Australia List of Judges of the Supreme Court of Victoria List of Victorian Supreme Court cases Supreme Court of Victoria Official Supreme Court of Victoria website Judges - Historic List Supreme Court Act