About us

  • The Magistrates' Court is the busiest court in Tasmania, handling over 30,000 cases each year.
  • The Magistrates Court is part of the third - or judicial arm - of government. The other arms are the legislature (Parliament) and the executive (Government).
  • The Court has 15 magistrates and 50 administrative staff who are based in Hobart, Launceston, Devonport and Burnie.
  • Specially trained and approved Justices of the Peace conduct out-of-hours courts.
  • Magistrates sit in the various Divisions of the Court in the following locations daily at Hobart, Launceston, Devonport and Burnie and on a regular basis in Queenstown, Smithton, Currie, Whitemark, Scottsdale, St Helens and Huonville.

Aim, Purpose & Values

Aim

The aim of the Magistrates Court is ensure a fair, just and safe Tasmania.

We serve the community by providing access to an accountable, independent and impartial system of justice administered according to law.

Purpose

The purpose of the Magistrates Court is to:

  • provide an open, transparent and accessible system of justice
  • apply the Rule of Law
  • protect and respect individuals’ rights

Values

The Magistrates Court values judicial independence, and acts independently from Government as it performs its judicial functions.

Its staff:

  • behave with integrity and respect
  • are accountable and cooperative
  • act without bias under the State Service Code of Conduct.

Code of Ethics

Non-Judicial Officers of the Magistrates Court

1. Provide impartial and even handed treatment to all persons

Guideline: Impartiality -

  • All persons coming to court are entitled to fair and equitable treatment, regardless of their personal circumstances or legal situation.

2. Demonstrate the highest standards of personal integrity, honesty and truthfulness in all our professional and personal dealings, avoiding the misuse of court time, equipment, supplies or facilities for personal use

Guideline: Personal Integrity -

  • The fundamental attitudes and work habits of individual employees.
  • Behave towards all persons with respect, courtesy and responsiveness, acting always to promote public confidence in the court system.

3. Safeguard confidential information, both written and oral, unless disclosure is authorised by the Court, refusing ever to use such information for personal advantage, and abstain at all times from public comment about pending proceedings except for strictly procedural matters.

4. Refrain from any actual impropriety, such as -

  • breaking the law
  • receiving gifts or favours related to court employment
  • accepting outside employment that conflicts with the Court duties
  • recommending private legal service providers

Guideline: of improper behaviour includes -

  • Improperly intervening to expedite administrative processes on behalf of a particular client
  • Seeking any favour, soliciting any gift or actually receiving any gift or the promise of one that could be construed as reward for past or future services.

5. Uphold the dignity of the Court and promote respect for the Court's duty to administer justice independently and impartially according to law.

6. Serve the public by providing procedural assistance that is as helpful as possible without giving legal advice.

7. Furnish accurate information as requested in a competent, cooperative and timely manner.

8. Improve personal work skills and performance through continuing professional education and development to ultimately provide greater service to the community.

9. Guard against any act of discrimination or bias based on religion, race, gender, age, language, appearance or sexual orientation, or any ground proscribed by the Anti-Discrimination Act 1998.

10. Renounce any use of positional or personal power to harass another person sexually or in any other way.

Guideline:

  • As well as sexual harassment there is also verbal, physical and psychological harassment

11. Protect the technological property of the Court by preserving the confidentiality of electronically and manually stored information and abstain from improper personal use of court computer systems and hardware.

Court's divisions

  • Administrative Appeals Court
    This division hears and determines cases where someone wishes to appeal a legal decision they’re not happy with.
  • Children’s Court
    This division determines child protection matters, including care and protection orders and assessment orders.
  • Civil Court
    This division deals with disputes involving amounts of up to $50,000 in value; or more than $50,000 if everyone agrees.
  • Coronial Court
    This division conducts inquests and investigations into certain deaths and incidents.
  • Criminal and General Court
    This division commonly hears offences such as drink driving, traffic offences, assaults, drug offences, stealing, family violence and restraint orders. 
  • Youth Justice Division
    This division hears and determines cases involving young people who are alleged to have committed offences under the age of 18.

Magistrates

There are 15 Magistrates

  • 9 are based in Hobart
  • 3 in Launceston
  • 2  in Devonport, and
  • 1 in Burnie.

The Chief Magistrate, the Deputy Chief Magistrate, and Magistrates are formally appointed by the Governor of Tasmania.

  • All Magistrates exercise a state-wide jurisdiction.
  • Magistrates are also Coroners.
  • Magistrates are legal practitioners who have at least 5 years experience as a Lawyer.

Burnie

  • Magistrate T Jago

Devonport

  • Magistrate A McKee
  • Magistrate D Fairley

Hobart

  • Chief Magistrate C J Geason
  • Deputy Chief Magistrate M F Daly
  • Magistrate S F Mollard
  • Magistrate O McTaggart
  • Magistrate C P Webster
  • Magistrate G A Hay
  • Magistrate S J Cooper
  • Magistrate R Chandler
  • Magistrate R Marron

Launceston

  • Magistrate S J N Brown
  • Magistrate S E Cure
  • Magistrate K J Stanton

Correct at June 2017.

Court User Groups build on the Court's goals of community engagement and continuous improvement. The feedback they provide is valuable for the Court's strategic planning and service delivery, and therefore its reputation in the community.

Participants in Court User Groups include:

Court User Groups operate in Hobart, Launceston, Devonport and Burnie..

For schools

Visiting Court

If you’d like your students to visit the Magistrates Court, please contact your local court. Please advise the number of students who will be coming, and the day and time you have in mind.

Alternatively, the Magistrates and/or Court officers can come to your school to talk about court powers and procedures.

Mock Court

If you’d like to hold a mock court at your school or workplace or at the Magistrates Court, please contact your local court.

Online resources