The civil jurisdiction deals with claims made pursuant to the court’s inherent jurisdiction and other jurisdictions vested in the court pursuant to legislation. Such matters are dealt with at trial or by way of chamber hearings.

See the Civil Cases section for further information.

The most serious criminal charges, brought primarily under the Criminal Law Consolidation Act, are dealt with by the Supreme Court’s criminal jurisdiction. Trials are conducted before a judge sitting alone or with a jury. In almost all instances, matters have been referred to the Supreme Court following a committal process in the Magistrates Court.

Appeals from most decisions made by judicial officers in the District Court and Magistrates Court as well from decisions of single judges of the Supreme Court are dealt with by the Supreme Court. Most appeals from the Magistrates Court and tribunals are heard by a single judge. Appeals against decisions from the District Court or Supreme Court are decided by the Court of Appeal.  The Court of Appeal was established as a separate Appeal Division within the Supreme Court on 1 January 2021, consisting of the Chief Justice, the President and four Justices of Appeal.  It generally sits as a bench of three judges.

View for more information on Court of Appeal.

This jurisdiction deals with disputes that arise through activity involving land, planning, development, the environment and valuation of land issues.
The Court has the jurisdiction conferred upon it under a variety of acts including (but not limited to):

  • the Crown Lands Act 1929
  • the Encroachments Act 1944
  • the Highways Act 1926
  • the Land Settlement (Development Leases) Act 1949
  • the Land Tax Act 1936
  • the Law of Property Act 1936
  • the Local Government Act 1934
  • the Pastoral Act 1936
  • the Planning and Development Act 1966
  • the Water Conservation Act 1936

Please refer to the Supreme Court Act 1935 for more information