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Topic Three Jurisdiction Notes

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This is an extract of our Topic Three Jurisdiction document, which we sell as part of our Civil Procedure Notes collection written by the top tier of Monash University students.

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TOPIC THREE: JURISDICTION In order for [plaintiff] to bring their case, it must show that the court has both subject matter jurisdiction and territorial jurisdiction. Participants in litigation

• Federal system (& VCAT): 'applicant' & 'respondent'.

• Appeals: (State & Federal) 'appellant' & 'respondent'.

• Victorian courts: 'plaintiff' & 'defendant'.

1. Subject matter jurisdiction
(refers to nature of the disputes which may

be adjudicated on by the particular court) a) Victorian Courts i. VCAT

• Jurisdiction derives from numerous pieces of legislation including: o Fair Trading Act 1999; o Residential Tenancies Act 1997; o Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995; o Equal Opportunity Act 1995;
o Planning and Environment Act 1987; and o Guardianship and Administration Act 1986.

• Jurisdiction determined by nature of dispute, rather than amount of dispute Civil Division

Administrative Division

Human Right Division

Civil Claims




Land valuation


Domestic Building

Legal Practice

Health and Privacy

Owners Corporation

Mental Health

Real Property

Occupational and
Business Regulation

Residential Tenancies


Retail Tenancies



Division Human Rights Division

ii. Magistrates Court

• Any claim for damages or equitable relief within jurisdictional limit ($100,000): (s100
Magistrates Court Act) o Excludes prerogative writs and administrative proceedings: (s100(2) Magistrates Court

• Claims for debts, damages for breach of contract, damage to property or for injury (e.g. motor
car collisions) and limited neighbourhood matters, e.g. fencing disputes.

• Specialised (civil law) divisions of the Magistrates' Court o Industrial Division includes claims under the Long Service Leave Act 1992 and
the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004. o Work cover Division deals with claims for compensation for workplace injuries either
under the Workers Compensation Act 1958 or the Accident Compensation Act 1985. o Family Violence Court Criminal & civil jurisdiction (events involving alleged family
violence) o Neighbourhood Justice Division: The court is multi­jurisdictional and sits as a
Magistrates Court, a Children's Court (Criminal Division), Victims of Crime Assistance
Tribunal (VOCAT) and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). iii. County Court Original Jurisdiction

Appellate Jurisdiction

All claims regardless of relief sought Hears appeals from: or subject­matter (section 37(1)(a)).

• the criminal jurisdiction of the Magistrates'
Court of Victoria Claims against municipal councils
for loss/injury while using roads,

• the orders of magistrates within the criminal
land, buildings etc controlled by
and family divisions of the Children's Court. council (s37(1)(b)) Other areas where jurisdiction
conferred by statute e.g.
Administration & Probate Act;
Property Law Act; Transfer of Land
Act; and Adoption Act

iv. Supreme Court (BOTH)

• Superior court of Victoria with unlimited jurisdictions85(1) Constitution Act (Vic)

• 85 Powers and jurisdiction of the Court: (1) jurisdiction in or in relation to Victoria its
dependencies and the areas adjacent in all cases whatsoever and shall be the superior Court of
Victoria with unlimited jurisdiction. Original Jurisdiction (Trial Division)

Equity and Commercial

Appellate Jurisdiction (Court of

Established under the

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