U3 AOS1: The reasons for a Victorian court hierarchy (Criminal) Flashcards Preview

VCE Legal Studies > U3 AOS1: The reasons for a Victorian court hierarchy (Criminal) > Flashcards

Flashcards in U3 AOS1: The reasons for a Victorian court hierarchy (Criminal) Deck (7)
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The lawful authority (ie power) of a court, tribunal or other dispute resolution body to decide legal cases


Original jurisdiction

The power of a court to head a case for the first time (ie not an appeal from a low court)


Appellate jurisdiction

The power of a court to hear a case on appeal. Ranked based on the severity and complexity of the cases they can hear



Within the hierarchy of courts, the courts have been able to develop their own areas go expertise or specialisation ie the Supreme Court (Trial Division) for murder, attempted murder, certain conspiracies and corporate offences



If there are grounds for appeal, a party who is dissatisfied with the decision in a criminal case can take the matter to a higher court to challenge the decision. A party who appeals is know as the appellant and the other party is the respondent. The system of appeals allows for fairness and allows for any mistakes made in the original decision to be corrected.

If there were no higher courts there could be no system of appeals which could create unfairness if a court incorrectly determines a case.


Administrative convenience

Allows cases to be disturbed according to their nature and complexity. The more serious and complex cases are heard in higher courts. These cases take longer to hear and require judges who are expert in complicated points of law. Minor cases involving minor offences such as driving charges can be heard quickly and less expensively in the lower courts such as the Magistrates court. The high courts such and the County and Supreme Court can then more easily manage the allocation of time for the longer and more caplet cases such as murder.


Doctrine of precedent

A system by which decisions are made in higher courts are binding on lower courts in the same hierarchy where the material facts are similar. The ratio decidendi (The reason for decisions) in the higher court which is apart of the courts judgement established a precedent to be followed in the future for similar cases. This system provides consistency in that similar cases are treated in the same manner.

The solicitors are able to inform their clients of what the law is and the likely decision if the president is followed. The higher courts make decisions that are binding.