An introduction to the courts


Contributors: Greg Connellan, Magistrate; Benjamin Lindner, Barrister

Australia maintains a hierarchical court system ascending from the Magistrates‘, County, Supreme and High Court. The Family Court and the Federal Court operate alongside this hierarchy. Each state and territory has their own laws and court system. Victoria also has a specialist Children’s Court.


In Victoria there is a separate, specialist Children’s Court, which is discussed in detail in Chapter 1.4: The Children’s Court. For more information about the Children’s Court, go to


A PDF of this chapter from The Law Handbook 2017 can be purchased for only $5.50. To purchase, click here.

Contacts and resources