Supreme Court of Western Australia
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|Supreme Court of Western Australia|
|Country||Western Australia, Australia|
|Composition method||Governor appointed by the recommendation of Cabinet.|
|Authorized by||Western Australian Constitution|
|Decisions are appealed to||High Court of Australia|
|Judge term length||mandatory retirement by age of 70|
|Number of positions||As many as necessary to deal with workload; currently 20 judges|
|Chief Justice of Western Australia|
|Since||1 May 2006|
The Supreme Court of Western Australia is the highest state court in the Australian State of Western Australia. It has unlimited jurisdiction within the state in civil matters (although it usually only hears matters involving sums of A$750,000 or more), and hears the most serious criminal matters.
The Supreme Court consists of a General Division (equivalent to the Trial Division in other states) and the Court of Appeal. The General Division deals with serious criminal matters, civil cases where the amount claimed is greater than $750,000, criminal appeals from the Magistrates Court and appeals from other bodies such as the State Administrative Tribunal. The Court of Appeal hears both civil and criminal appeals from cases in the General Division, the District Court and the State Administrative Tribunal.
When required, Supreme Court judges may also constitute the Industrial Court of Western Australia and the Court of Disputed Returns.
The current Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is the Hon. Wayne Martin AC who was formally appointed to the position on 4 April 2006. Martin was appointed after a lengthy selection process which followed the retirement of David Malcolm on 7 February. Martin had been one of Western Australia's leading QC's before his appointment.
The Supreme Court was established in 1861 when the Court of Quarter Sessions (a criminal court for serious matters) and the Civil Court were amalgamated. Sir Archibald Burt was the first Chief Justice of the court.
The Full Court of the Supreme Court was established in 1886 to decide both criminal and civil appeals. In 1893 the criminal appeals were transferred to the Court of Appeal which was then reconstituted as the Court of Criminal Appeal in 1911.
The Supreme Court, Full Court and Court of Criminal Appeal were effectively the one court with each judge able to sit on cases in any of the courts.
In 2004 the Full Court and the Court of Criminal Appeal were subsumed by the Court of Appeal, which, while still a division of the Supreme Court, has judges which sit solely on appeal cases.
The Bench of the Supreme Court is currently constituted as follows (in order of seniority):
- Wayne Martin AC (1 May 2006)
President of the Court of Appeal
- Carmel McLure (1 February 2005)
Judges of the Court of Appeal
- Michael Buss (1 February 2006)
- David Newnes (24 February 2009)
- Robert Mazza (4 March 2010)
- Graeme Murphy (3 August 2010)
Judges of the General Division
- John McKechnie (4 March 1999)
- Eric Heenan (4 April 2002)
- Rene Le Miere (2 February 2004)
- Lindy Jenkins (2 February 2004)
- Ralph Simmonds (23 February 2004)
- Andrew Beech (25 June 2007)
- John Chaney (10 February 2009)
- Kenneth Martin (23 March 2009)
- Stephen Hall (6 July 2009)
- Michael Corboy (19 April 2010)
- Janine Pritchard (15 June 2010)
- Jeremy Allanson (9 August 2010)
- James Edelman (25 July 2011)
- Jeremy Curthoys (10 February 2014) (President State Administrative Tribunal)
- Robert Mitchell (2 October 2014)
- Craig Sanderson
- "History". Supreme Court of Western Australia. 2012-07-19. Retrieved 2014-08-31.
- History of the Supreme Court of Western Australia, Supreme Court of Western Australia, 2008-10-15, retrieved 2014-08-31
- State Archives of Western Australia. (1990) Bankruptcy records of the Supreme Court of Western Australia compiled by the State Archives of Western Australia.
(Alphabetical list of bankruptcy files held by the State Archives. Covers the period 1857–1928).