Magistrates court of Queensland
Federal Law Courts
Queensland Law Courts
The magistrates courts of Queensland are the lowest court in the judicial hierarchy of the Australian state of Queensland. All criminal proceedings in Queensland begin in the magistrates courts, with minor offences being dealt with summarily, and more serious ones being referred to a higher court on the strength of evidence.
A magistrates court has the jurisdiction to decide on civil matters for which the amount in dispute is less than or equal to $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.
Those present at court typically include the magistrate, police prosecutor, defendant, plaintiff 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, defendants, 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 17 in which case the court becomes a child court and the media and public will only have restricted access to the court.
Notable former magistrates