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SDP: 3 - The reasons for a Victorian court hierarchy in determining civil cases: administrative convenience and appeals
Terms in this set (2)
Using a hierarchy for courts mean that cases can be seen and distributed according to their SERIOUSNESS and COMPLEXITY.
Less serious and less complex cases are heard in the lower courts, while more serious and complex cases are heard in the higher courts.
The Magistrates Court holds jurisdiction over minor civil disputes where the plaintiff is claiming less or equal to $ 100,000 - heard quicker and less expensive
The County and Supreme Courts have jurisdiction over more serious and complex disputes. Both of these courts have UNLIMITED JURISDICTION (any amount of money). Class actions are heard in the Supreme Court)
This allows for higher courts - where judges have greater legal expertise and knowledge in the particular jurisdiction - to hear more SERIOUS and COMPLEX lengthy cases. This allows minor disputes to be dealt with quickly, without having to wait for lengthier trials to be heard.
If a party is dissatisfied and feels that the decision in their case was not just, the existence of a court hierarchy allows that party to appeal to a higher, more superior court that has the jurisdiction to hear the appeal and be reviewed.
Grounds for appeal include:
1. A POINT OF LAW: where some law hasn't been followed. Eg. the court heard inadmissible evidence
2. A QUESTION OF FACT: facts of the case had been appropriately applied to reach a decision.
3. THE REMEDY AWARDED: the way in which a court enforced a right or the order that was made by another court.
Providing that the party establishes the grounds for an appeal, their case will be reassessed by the superior court.
This provides fairness as it gives an opportunity for unjust decisions to be corrected. Without a court hierarchy, this avenue for appeal to a superior court would not exist.
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