The Supreme Court of Tasmania was established by the Australian Courts Act 1828. Its jurisdiction and procedure are defined by a wide number of Acts. The personnel of the courts are the Chief Justice, The Hon William John Ellis Cox AC, RFD, ED and five other judges:
The Hon Peter George Underwood (appointed 20 August 1984)
The Hon Ewan Charles Crawford (appointed 5 October 1988)
The Hon Pierre William Slicer (appointed 3 June 1991)
The Hon Peter Ethrington Evans (appointed 10 June 1998)
The Hon Alan Blow OAM (appointed 13 June 2000)
All judges are formally appointed by the Governor. To be eligible for appointment, a judge must have a minimum qualification of ten years experience in the practice of law and be over 35 years of age (Chalmers, 1992).
Further information about the Tasmanian Supreme Court, and its jurisdiction, can be found at the following web site, www.courts.tas.gov.au/supreme/about/jurisdiction.htm
In 2002-03, some 72.4% of persons presented in the Supreme Court were convicted. This compares to 69.0% in the previous year and 74.8% in 2000-01. Of all people presented in the Supreme Court in 2002-03, 6.2% were acquitted, compared to 6.9% in the previous year. In 2000-01, this figure was 15.3%.
TASMANIAN SUPREME COURT, Criminal prosecutions
|(a) A person is acquitted if the court declares that a not guilty verdict as a charge laid against a defendant has not been proven. This also includes a finding of not guilty on the grounds of insanity and unsoundness of mind at the time the defendant committed the offence.|
(b) A person is discharged when the court decides to withdraw an accusation of a crime or misdemeanour.
(c) One person found unfit to plead.
(d) One person found not guilty by reason of insanity and one person whose jury failed to reach a verdict.
(e) One person found not guilty by reason of insanity and three persons to be retried.
(f) One person deceased before trial.
Source: Director Public Prosecutions, Annual Report 2002-03