Magistrates Court of Western Australia



The Magistrates Court of Western Australia is the first tier court in
Western Australia Western Australia (commonly abbreviated as WA) is a state of Australia occupying the western percent of the land area of Australia excluding external territories. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the north and west, the Southern Ocean to t ...
, a state of Australia. It has jurisdiction in respect of criminal and civil matters, as well as a range of administrative matters. The court came into existence in May 2005 and was the result of the amalgamation of the Court of Petty Sessions of Western Australia, Small Claims Tribunal of Western Australia, and the Local Court of Western Australia.


The amalgamation of the three courts followed from recommendations made by the
Law Reform Commission of Western Australia The Law Reform Commission of Western Australia is a commission to investigate, review and advise on the reform of the law in Western Australia, a state of Australia. The present commission came into existence on 31 October 1972. History There ...
. The amalgamation also occurred at a time when changes were made to the appointments of
justices of the peace A justice of the peace (JP) is a judicial officer of a lower or ''puisne'' court, elected or appointed by means of a commission ( letters patent) to keep the peace. In past centuries the term commissioner of the peace was often used with the sam ...
, appointment of
magistrates The term magistrate is used in a variety of systems of governments and laws to refer to a civilian officer who administers the law. In ancient Rome, a ''magistratus'' was one of the highest ranking government officers, and possessed both judicia ...
and civil procedure in the state by widening the options available for enforcing bad debts.Second reading speech by WA Attorney General 4 December 2003 The reforms envisaged that the jurisdiction of the court for civil claims would increase from $25,000 to $50,000 as well as the ability for the chief magistrate to establish divisions in the court to deal with specific classes of offenders, such as by establishment of a
drug court Drug courts are judicially supervised court dockets that provide a sentencing alternative of treatment combined with supervision for people living with serious substance use. Drug courts are problem-solving courts that take a public health appr ...
or a family violence court.


The court is constituted under th
Magistrates Court Act 2004 (WA)
It is an inferior court and it is also a
court of record A court of record is a trial court or appellate court in which a record of the proceedings is captured and preserved, for the possibility of appeal. A court clerk or a court reporter takes down a record of oral proceedings. That written record ( ...
. The court has a civil jurisdiction under th
Magistrates Court (Civil Proceedings) Act 2004 (WA)
The court exercises the criminal jurisdiction which a court of petty sessions previously had or which a court of summary jurisdiction could have exercised prior to the creation of the court. The court also deals with cases under th

the Dividing fences act, Disposal of uncollected goods and extraordinary drivers licence applications. The court can also exercise any jurisdiction conferred upon it.


Governor of Western Australia The governor of Western Australia is the representative in Western Australia of the monarch of Australia, currently King Charles III. As with the other governors of the Australian states, the governor of Western Australia performs constitutional ...
can appoint magistrates to the court. The governor can also appoint a chief magistrate, as well as deputy chief magistrates. The court normally sits with a magistrate sitting alone. However, the governor may make a regulation which allows a single justice of the peace or two justices of the peace to sit as the court.


About 43,000 civil cases are filed each year in the court.


*Homepage of the court: *Second Reading speech in the WA Legislative Assembly on 3 December 2003 *Magistrates Court Act 2004 (WA)

External links

* {{Government of Western Australia Western Australian courts and tribunals Courthouses in Perth, Western Australia 2005 establishments in Australia Courts and tribunals established in 2005