Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory

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Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory
Coat of Arms of the Australian Capital Territory.svg
Law Courts of the Australian Capital Territory.jpg
ACT Law Courts building
Established 1 January 1934 (1934-01-01)
Country Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Location Canberra
Coordinates 35°16′52″S 149°07′38″E / 35.281015°S 149.127245°E / -35.281015; 149.127245Coordinates: 35°16′52″S 149°07′38″E / 35.281015°S 149.127245°E / -35.281015; 149.127245
Decisions are appealed to High Court of Australia
Judge term length mandatory retirement by age of 70
No. of positions 5
Website www.courts.act.gov.au/supreme/
Chief Justice of the Australian Capital Territory
Currently Helen Murrell
Since 28 October 2013 (2013-10-28)

The Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory is the superior court for the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). It has unlimited jurisdiction within the territory in civil matters (although it usually only hears matters involving more than A$250,000), and hears the most serious criminal matters. Criminal trials may be heard before a judge and jury, or by judge alone at the election of the accused. All matters are heard before a single judge, including appellate matters from the Magistrates Court, the Children's Court, and the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal.[1] In the Australian court hierarchy it is one of eight state and territory Supreme Courts having unlimited jurisdiction in their respective parts of Australia. Whilst the Supreme Court is the highest ACT court in the Australian court hierarchy, an appeal by special leave can be made to the High Court of Australia.

The Court has the jurisdictional power to hear matters that relate to the Jervis Bay Territory, the Australian Antarctic Territory and the Heard and McDonald Islands Territory, although it has never exercised that power.[1]

History

The court was established on 1 January 1934 by the Seat of Government Supreme Court Act 1933 (Cth), since amended and now known as the Supreme Court Act 1933 (ACT).[2] The first judge of the court was Lionel Lukin. The first Chief Judge was Russell Walter Fox, appointed when the office was created in 1977. It was substituted with the office of Chief Justice in 1982 and the first Chief Justice was Richard Blackburn.[1]

Pursuant to section 37E of the Supreme Court Act 1933 (ACT), the court is known as the Court of Appeal when it exercises its appellate jurisdiction under Part 2A of the Act.[2]

The courthouse includes two jury courts and in December 2013 The Canberra Times reported that the court would soon be upgraded to meet the requirements of the city's judicial system over the next 50 years.[3]

Judges of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory

Chief Justice

Name Date appointed Term in office Notes
Chief Justice Helen Murrell 28 October 2013 (2013-10-28) 5 years, 8 days [4]

Judges

Name Date appointed Term in office Notes
Justice John Burns 1 August 2011 (2011-08-01) 7 years, 96 days
Justice Michael Elkaim 4 July 2016 (2016-07-04) 2 years, 124 days
Justice David Mossop 13 February 2017 (2017-02-13) 1 year, 265 days
Justice Chrissa Loukas-Karlsson 6 February 2018 (2018-02-06) 272 days

Additional Judges

Name Date appointed Term in office Notes
Steven Rares March 2007 10–11 years
Anthony Besanko March 2007 10–11 years
Lindsay Foster 11 November 2009 8 years, 359 days
Jayne Jagot 11 November 2009 8 years, 359 days
Anna Katzmann 17 September 2010 8 years, 49 days
John Gilmour 6 July 2012 6 years, 122 days
Michael Wigney 9 December 2013 4 years, 331 days
Melissa Perry 14 May 2014 4 years, 175 days
Berna Collier 3 May 2016 2 years, 186 days
Robert Bromwich 5 September 2016 2 years, 61 days
Natalie Charlesworth 14 November 2017 356 days

Acting Judges

Name Date appointed Term in office Notes
Linda Ashford 1 July 2014 4 years, 127 days
Stephen Walmsley 1 July 2014 4 years, 127 days
David Robinson 1 July 2014 4 years, 127 days
Murray Kellam 8 March 2017 1 year, 242 days

Master/Associate Judge

Name Date appointed Term in office Notes
Verity McWilliam 26 June 2017 1 year, 132 days

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c "Court Jurisdiction and History". ACT Supreme Court. ACT Government. July 2016. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  2. ^ a b Supreme Court Act 1933 (ACT)
  3. ^ "New Supreme Court for Canberra". The Canberra Times. 19 December 2013. Archived from the original on 14 April 2014.
  4. ^ "Current Judges and Associate Judge". Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory. Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory. 13 Feb 2017. Retrieved 23 March 2017.


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