The courts

A court is a body formed to adjudicate on criminal charges and civil disputes and to determine the best path to justice. Courts are funded by governments and overseen by judges and magistrates. There are many different courts in Australia, both in State and Federal jurisdictions. Courts are organised in court hierarchies, where both appeals and the doctrine of precedent can function. Courts also serve as law-making bodies. Courts examine the facts of each case but also engage in statutory interpretation and both setting and following precedents. Court decisions and rulings together form our common law. These topic pages contain concise summaries of Australian courts and their operation. These pages have been written by authors.

What is a court?
Common law
Advantages and disadvantages of common law
Court hierarchies
Advantages of court hierarchies
The doctrine of precedent
Types of precedent
Statutory interpretation
Aids to statutory interpretation

The Magistrates’ Court
The Children’s Court
The Drug Court
The Koori Court
The Family Court
The Coroners Court
The High Court

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