The Magistrates Court of Tasmania is a statutory body created as a Court of record by the Magistrates Court Act 1987 section 3A that comprises the Chief Magistrate, the Deputy Chief Magistrate and the Magistrates.
Magistrates have jurisdiction throughout the State to hear and determine a very broad range of legal matters.
Magistrates sitting in Courts of Petty Sessions hear and determine simple offences, crimes triable summarily under State and Commonwealth legislation, breaches of duty, applications under various State and Commonwealth statutes, and exercise a wide range of appellate and review functions. Magistrates also hear simple and indictable offences in the Youth Justice Division as well as exercising child protection responsibilities.
Magistrates in the Civil Division hear and determine civil matters to a value of $50,000 or an unlimited amount with the consent of the parties. Matters up to a value of $5,000 are dealt with as Minor Civil Claims and undergo simplified procedures prior to, and at, hearing.
Statutory provision is also made for the Court to sit in the following Divisions:
Magistrates sit as Coroners to conduct inquests into sudden deaths, fires and explosions.
Magistrates also sit as chairpersons of various statutory tribunals, including the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal, the Motor Accidents Compensation Tribunal, and the Mining Tribunal.
The Court has permanent Registries in Hobart, Launceston, Devonport, and Burnie; and conducts regular circuit court sittings at a number of regional locations throughout the State.
A range of services are available at these locations and these are used to support the effective operation of the Court. They include audio and video conferencing facilities, court support services, access to interpreters, etc.