District Court of Queensland

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District Court of Queensland
Coat of Arms of Queensland.svg
Cairns Court House, 2015.jpg
Cairns Courthouse, a permanent location for the District Court
Established 1866–1921; 1958
Jurisdiction Queensland, Australia
Location Queen Elizabeth II Courts of Law in Brisbane; Beenleigh; Cairns; Ipswich; Maroochydore; Rockhampton; Southport, Townsville
Authorized by Queensland Parliament via the District Court of Queensland Act 1967 (Qld)
Decisions are appealed to Supreme Court of Queensland
Decisions are heard for appeals from Magistrates Court of Queensland
Chief Judge
Currently Kerry J. O'Brien
Since 20 October 2014 (2014-10-20)

The District Court of Queensland is the second tier in the court hierarchy of Queensland, Australia.[1] The Court deals with serious criminal offences such as rape, armed robbery and fraud. Juries are used to decide if defendants are guilty or not guilty.

The original court was established in 1866 to ease the workload of the Supreme Court of Queensland. However, in 1921 the Queensland Parliament decided District Courts were no longer necessary and the courts were abolished. They were re-established by Parliament in 1958 to relieve the workload in the Supreme Court. The present court is constituted under the District Court of Queensland Act 1967 (Qld).[2] That Act amalgamated the previous District Court in existence prior to 1967 into the new District Court.

The District Court sits in 32 locations across Queensland. Judges also travel throughout the state to hear matters in regional and remote areas.

Decisions made by the District Court may be heard on appeal to the Supreme Court; and the District Court may sit as an appellate court for decisions made in the Magistrates Court of Queensland.[1]

Jurisdiction[edit]

Coat of Arms of Queensland.svg

Queensland Court Hierarchy

Federal Law Courts

Queensland Law Courts

Civil[edit]

The District Court has jurisdiction to hear civil matters for which the amount in dispute is less than or equal to $750,000, and more than $150,000.[1] Civil disputes in which the amount in dispute is more than $750,000 are heard by the Supreme Court, while those in which the amount is $150,000 or less are heard by either the Magistrates Court or the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.[1]

Criminal[edit]

The District Court has the jurisdiction to hear criminal matters in which the defendant has been charged with a serious indictable offence (such as armed robbery, rape, and dangerous driving).[1] These trials require a jury.

Composition[edit]

Chief Judge of the District Court[edit]

Name Date appointed Term in office Notes
Chief Judge Kerry J. O'Brien 20 October 2014 (2014-10-20) 2 years, 151 days [3]

Judges of the District Court[edit]

The District Court operates permanent courts in Brisbane, located in the Queen Elizabeth II Courts of Law building on George Street, Brisbane CBD; and Cairns, Ipswich, Maroochydore, Rockhampton, Southport, Townsville, and sits in regional areas as required.[1][4] In Brisbane, the District Court shares the location with the Supreme Court.

As of July 2016, the judges who sat at the District Court, together with their location, were:[3]

Name Location Date appointed Term in office Comments
Judge David C. Andrews Brisbane 28 March 2008 (2008-03-28) 8 years, 357 days
Judge John R. Baulch Townsville 10 September 2010 (2010-09-10) 6 years, 191 days
Judge Helen P. Bowskill QC Brisbane 10 November 2014 (2014-11-10) 2 years, 130 days
Judge Sarah Bradley Ipswich 25 March 1999 (1999-03-25) 17 years, 360 days
Judge Michael J. F. Burnett Rockhampton 3 November 2014 (2014-11-03) 2 years, 137 days
Judge Brendan Butler AM, Brisbane 15 September 2008 (2008-09-15) 8 years, 186 days
Judge Leanne Clare Brisbane 2 April 2008 (2008-04-02) 8 years, 352 days
Judge Ian Dearden Brisbane 28 February 1995 (1995-02-28) 22 years, 20 days
Judge Brian G. Devereaux Brisbane 17 July 2009 (2009-07-17) 7 years, 246 days
Justice Julie M. Dick Brisbane 14 December 2000 (2000-12-14) 16 years, 96 days
Judge Kiernan DorneyQC Brisbane 19 February 2010 (2010-02-19) 7 years, 29 days
Judge Stuart G. Durward SC Townsville 21 August 2006 (2006-08-21) 10 years, 211 days
Judge William G. Everson Brisbane 2 April 2008 (2008-04-02) 8 years, 352 days
Judge Brad Farr Brisbane 11 August 2011 (2011-08-11) 5 years, 221 days
Judge Brian Harrison Cairns 19 February 2010 (2010-02-19) 7 years, 29 days
Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren Ipswich 20 October 2012 (2012-10-20) 4 years, 151 days
Judge Richard Jones Brisbane 19 February 2010 (2010-02-19) 7 years, 29 days
Judge Fleur Y. Kingham Brisbane 17 July 2006 (2006-07-17) 10 years, 246 days
Judge Gregory J. Koppenol Ipswich 21 September 2007 (2007-09-21) 9 years, 180 days
Judge Gary Long Maroochydore 13 May 2011 (2011-05-13) 5 years, 311 days
Judge Terence D. Martin Brisbane 13 July 2007 (2007-07-13) 9 years, 250 days
Judge Dean P. Morzone QC Cairns 27 October 2014 (2014-10-27) 2 years, 144 days
Judge Tony Moynihan QC Brisbane 25 June 2015 (2015-06-25) 1 year, 268 days
Judge Douglas J. McGill Brisbane 9 September 1996 (1996-09-09) 20 years, 192 days
Judge Katherine M. McGinness Southport 17 July 2009 (2009-07-17) 7 years, 246 days
Judge Michael J. Noud Brisbane 17 July 1989 (1989-07-17) 27 years, 246 days
Judge Michael E. Rackemann Brisbane 12 January 2004 (2004-01-12) 13 years, 67 days
Judge Anthony J. Rafter Brisbane 15 December 2006 (2006-12-15) 10 years, 95 days
Judge David Reid Brisbane 19 February 2010 (2010-02-19) 7 years, 29 days
Judge Deborah Richards Brisbane 26 November 1998 (1998-11-26) 18 years, 114 days
Judge Orazio Rinaudo Brisbane 8 July 2014 (2014-07-08) 2 years, 255 days Also Chief Magistrate
Judge John M. Robertson Maroochydore 23 September 1994 (1994-09-23) 22 years, 178 days
Judge Julie Ryrie Brisbane 28 February 2005 (2005-02-28) 12 years, 20 days
Judge David G. Searles Brisbane 13 July 2007 (2007-07-13) 9 years, 250 days
Judge Michael J. Shanahan Brisbane 19 August 1999 (1999-08-19) 17 years, 213 days Also President of Children's Court
Judge Suzanne C. Sheridan Brisbane 24 November 2014 (2014-11-24) 2 years, 116 days Deputy President, Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal
Judge Paul E. Smith Brisbane 8 March 2013 (2013-03-08) 4 years, 12 days Also Judge Administrator
Judge Clive F. Wall RFD, QC Southport 11 September 1996 (1996-09-11) 20 years, 190 days

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "The District Court of Queensland" (PDF). Department of Justice and Attorney-General (Queensland). Government of Queensland. 2010. Retrieved 15 June 2012. 
  2. ^ District Court of Queensland Act 1967 (Qld)
  3. ^ a b "Judges of the District Court contacts". Department of Justice and Attorney-General (Queensland). Government of Queensland. 26 July 2016. Retrieved 4 August 2016. 
  4. ^ "Courthouses contacts". Department of Justice ad Attorney-General (Queensland). Government of Queensland. 2012. Retrieved 16 June 2012.