Federal Court of Australia

Federal Court of Australia

The Federal Court of Australia is the Australian court in which most civil disputes, and some summary criminal matters, governed by federal law are decided. Cases are heard at first instance by single Judges. There is an appeals division known as the Full Federal Court which comprises three Federal Court Judges. It is on the same position in the Australian court hierarchy as the Supreme Courts in each of the states and the only court above it is the High Court of Australia. On the federal level, it is equal to the Family Court of Australia and above the Federal Magistrates' Court. The court was established in 1976 by the Federal Court of Australia Act.

Original jurisdiction

The Federal Court has no inherent jurisdiction, what jurisdiction it has is given to it by statute. The original jurisdiction of the court includes matters falling under Commonwealth legislation (including trade practices, native title, intellectual property, industrial law, corporations, and bankruptcy).

The Judiciary Act 1903 (Cth) now gives the Federal Court jurisdiction in all matters arising under federal law - this includes a general judicial review power in addition to that granted by the Administrative Decision (Judicial Review) Act 1976 (Cth) and by other statutes which allow for appeals on points of law from various administrative tribunals.

Part IIIA of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 authorises the Federal Court to sit in New Zealand and authorises the High Court of New Zealand to sit in Australia. The orders of the Federal Court sitting in New Zealand are enforced by the High Court of New Zealand and orders of that court sitting in Australia are enforced by the Federal Court.

Appellate jurisdiction

The Federal Court of Australia also has appellate jurisdiction from the Federal Magistrates Court on all matters, with the exception of family law, where the Family Court of Australia has appellate jurisdiction.Fact|date=August 2007 The Court also exercises general appellate jurisdiction in criminal and civil matters on appeal from the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory and the Supreme Court of Norfolk Island.Fact|date=August 2007 The Court also exercises appellate jurisdiction in appeals from State Supreme Courts in some federal matters.Fact|date=August 2007

Current Judges of the Federal Court

Judges based in Sydney

*Michael Moore (28 March 1994)
*Catherine Branson (16 May 1994)
*Kevin Lindgren (26 July 1994)
*Brian Tamberlin (30 August 1994)
*Ronald Sackville (19 September 1994)
*Rodney Madgwick (3 October 1995)
*Arthur Emmett (3 February 1997)
*Roger Gyles (11 June 1999)
*Margaret Stone (9 October 2000)
*James Allsop (7 May 2001)
*Garry Downes (2 April 2002) President, Administrative Appeals Tribunal
*Peter Jacobson (17 June 2002)
*Annabelle Bennett (5 May 2003)
*Richard Edmonds (5 May 2005)
*Peter Graham (24 May 2005)
*Steven Rares (2 February 2006)
*Dennis Cowdroy (13 March 2006)
*Robert Buchanan (8 September 2006)
*Geoffrey Flick (15 October 2007)
*Nye Perram (8 August 2008)

Judges based in Melbourne

*Chief Justice Michael Black (1 January 1991)
*Peter Gray (17 May 1984)
*Donnell Ryan (29 September 1986)
*Peter Heerey (17 December 1990)
*Ross Sundberg (10 July 1995)
*Shane Marshall (17 July 1995)
*Anthony North (3 October 1995)
*Alan Goldberg (3 February 1997)
*Raymond Finkelstein (21 July 1997)
*Geoffery Giudice (17 September 1997) President, Australian Industrial Relations Commission
*Mark Weinberg (15 July 1998)
*Susan Kenny (16 October 1998)
*Christopher Jessup (23 June 2006)
*Richard Tracey (24 July 2006)
*John Middleton (7 August 2006)
*Michelle Gordon (20 April 2007)

Judges based in Brisbane

*Jeffrey Spender (17 May 1984)
*John Dowsett (14 September 1998)
*Andrew Greenwood (4 August 2005)
*Berna Collier (8 February 2006)
*John Logan (27 September 2007)

Judges based in Perth

*Robert French (25 November 1986)
*Antony Siopis (14 April 2005)
*John Gilmour (11 December 2006)
*Neil McKerracher (15 October 2007)

Judges based in Adelaide

*Paul Finn (3 July 1995)
*John Mansfield (2 September 1996)
*Bruce Lander (14 July 2003)
*Anthony Besanko (3 April 2006)

Judge based in Darwin

* John Reeves (15 October 2007)

Judge based in Canberra

*Terence Higgins (1 July 1990) (also Chief Justice, ACT Supreme Court)

External links

* [http://www.fedcourt.gov.au Federal Court of Australia]
* [http://scaletext.law.gov.au/html/pasteact/0/18/top.htm Full text of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976]

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