The District Court exercises essentially the same civil jurisdiction as the Supreme Court (except for Probate or Admiralty), and claims for amounts greater than $100,000 for Non-Personal Injury Matters and $100,000 for Personal Injury Claims.

The Civil Registry receives and processes all documents lodged in the civil jurisdiction of the court, and is the principal point of reference for enquiries from the legal profession and the public.

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The District Court has jurisdiction to try a charge of any indictable offence except treason or murder. Trials are conducted by a judge before a jury or by a judge sitting alone. Almost all matters have been committed to the District Court following a committal process in the Magistrates Court.

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The District Court hears administrative and disciplinary matters brought under various statutes.

Judges of the District Court hear appeals under a number of Acts, such as the Guardianship and Administration Act and the Mental Health Act, where they sit with assessors who have expertise in the relevant area. The Judges also preside over the Equal Opportunity Tribunal.

The Registrar of the District Court is also the Registrar of the division. Civil Registry staff perform all associated registry functions.

Tribunals and courts

The Civil Registry administers the following tribunals and courts:

  • Pastoral Land Appeal Tribunal
  • Police Disciplinary Tribunal
  • Wardens Court


District Court Judges hear appeals, applications and complaints under a number of acts, some of which are:

  • Electricity Act 1996
  • Credit Administration Act
  • Dog and Cat Management Act
  • Land Agents Act
  • Land Valuers Act
  • Local Government Act 1999
  • Motor Vehicles Act
  • Second Hand Vehicle Dealers Act
  • Security and Investigation Industry Act
  • Survey Act

When a person has been injured as a result of a crime committed against them, they are entitled to apply for damages under the Victims of Crime Act 2001. All applications for compensation under the Victims of Crime Act 2001 are brought in the District Court. Final determination is made by a judge or master.

District Court Masters hold directions hearings in the early stages of proceedings and most matters are settled before going to trial. Matters which do proceed to trial before a judge are listed within three months of a pre-trial conference being held.