The Supreme Court of Tasmania forms part of a multi-layered court system which incorporates both federal and state jurisdictions. Under the Australian constitutional system legislative, executive and judicial powers are divided between the States and Commonwealth. As a result there is a demarcation between the types of matters which may be dealt with in state and federal courts. For example:
Court systems are hierarchal. In most states of Australia there are three levels of courts:
Tasmania has only two levels in its court hierarchy: Magistrates Courts and the Supreme Court. The Magistrates Courts sit at numerous locations throughout the State and deal with:
There are also a number of tribunals which deal with specialised matters such as:
At the top of the court/tribunal pyramid sits the Supreme Court. Except in those matters excluded from it by specific legislation, the Supreme Court has unlimited jurisdiction in civil matters under Tasmanian law and exclusive jurisdiction in criminal matters under Tasmanian law. It also has jurisdiction, although not exclusive, to deal with criminal matters and some civil matters arising under federal law.
Contact details for the various Court Registries and Judges' Chambers can be found under the Contacts link in the top right hand corner of this page or by using left hand navigation bar.