Supreme Court of Queensland

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Supreme Court of Queensland
Coa Queensland.gif
Established 1861
Country  Queensland,  Australia
Location Brisbane
Coordinates 27°28′03″S 153°01′14″E / 27.467507°S 153.020646°E / -27.467507; 153.020646Coordinates: 27°28′03″S 153°01′14″E / 27.467507°S 153.020646°E / -27.467507; 153.020646
Composition method Governor appointed by the recommendation of Cabinet.
Authorized by Queensland Constitution
Decisions are appealed to High Court of Australia
Judge term length mandatory retirement by age of 70
Number of positions 26
Chief Justice of Queensland
Currently Paul de Jersey
Since 17 February 1998
Facade of the Queen Elizabeth II Courts of Law building, in which the Court sits
Coa Queensland.gif

Queensland Court Hierarchy

Federal Law Courts

Queensland Law Courts

The Supreme Court of Queensland is the highest court in the Australian State of Queensland,[1] and sits at the middle of the Australian court hierarchy.


The Supreme Court was established on 7 August 1861.[2] The building which housed the court was damaged by arson on 2 September 1968, and subsequently demolished.[2] The court then sat in the Law Courts Complex before relocating to the Queen Elizabeth II Courts of Law.[2]


In 1991 the Queensland Supreme Court was restructured into two divisions, the Trial Division and the Court of Appeal. The Court is headed by the Chief Justice of Queensland (currently Chief Justice Paul de Jersey) who sits in both the Trial Division and the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal comprises the President (currently Justice Margaret McMurdo) and four Judges of Appeal, who sit only in the Court of Appeal. Proceedings in the Court of Appeal are usually heard by three judges. The Trial Division comprises a number of trial judges, and is headed by the Senior Judge Administrator (currently Justice John Byrne). Proceedings in the Trial Division are heard by one trial judge. Most trial division judges also rotate through the Court of Appeal, usually for three week periods.

Appeals from:

  • the Trial Division are heard by the Court of Appeal; and
  • the Court of Appeal is heard by the High Court of Australia.

The Court of Appeal also hears appeals from the District Court of Queensland.

Current judges[edit]

Current as at September 2012 (appointment date in brackets):

Chief Justice[edit]

Court of Appeal[edit]

Trial Division[edit]

Noted former judges[edit]


The original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court allows its Trial Division to hear civil matters involving claims of more than $750,000; criminal matters involving serious offences (including murder and manslaughter); and matters arising under the Corporations Act 2001 and cross-vesting legislation.[1] The appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court allows its Court of Appeal to hear cases on appeal from the District Court, the Trial Division of the Supreme Court, and a number of other judicial tribunals in Queensland.[1]


The Supreme Court sits mainly in the Queen Elizabeth II Courts of Law in Brisbane, which also houses the District Court.[3] The court began operating out of this facility on 27 August 2012, prior to which it was located in the Law Courts Complex.[3]

The court also has judges permanently appointed to sit in Rockhampton, Townsville and Cairns, and regularly sits in other regional districts.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Department of Justice and Attorney-General (Queensland). "Supreme Court". Government of Queensland. Retrieved 30 June 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts (Queensland). "150 years of the Supreme Court of Queensland". Government of Queensland. Retrieved 30 June 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Department of Justice and Attorney General (Queensland). "New Brisbane Supreme and District Court". Government of Queensland. Retrieved 15 July 2013.