Tasmanian courts form part of a multi-layered system that incorporates both federal and State jurisdictions. Under the Australian constitution, legislative, executive and judicial powers are divided between the States and Commonwealth. As a result, there is a demarcation between the types of matters that may be dealt with in State and federal courts. For example, family law issues come within the jurisdiction of the Federal Parliament and are dealt with in a federal court called the Family Court of Australia and disputes arising under federal laws are largely dealt with in the Federal Court of Australia.
Court systems are hierarchical. At one level in Tasmania is the Magistrates Court, as well as a number of tribunals that deal with specialised matters such as workers compensation, land use, Youth Justice Courts, and other areas of law. Above these courts and tribunals is the Supreme Court of Tasmania.
The courts and tribunals are usually open to the public, although some, such as Youth Justice Courts, may restrict access.
This page last updated 21 November 2006