Administrative Direction

No 1 of 2000

Integration of Certain Tribunals within the Court

I, Arnold George Shott, Chief Magistrate for the State of Tasmania, pursuant (among other powers) to the Magistrates Court Act 1987 section 15(6) and after consulting the Administrator of the Magistrates Court, hereby make administrative directions in the terms of paragraph 3 of this direction with effect from the fifth day of January 2000.

1. Introduction

The enactment and subsequent commencement of the Magistrates Court Amendment Act 1998 effected a significant amendment to the Magistrates Court Act 1987 section 3 in that certain Tribunals now fall within the definition of "lower courts" and, therefore, are integrated within the administrative structure of the Magistrates Court of Tasmania.

The relevant provision of section 3 reads as follows:

"3. In this Act, unless the contrary intention appears -

'lower courts' means -

(a) the Magistrates Court;
(b) courts of summary jurisdiction within the meaning of the Justices Act 1959;
(c) a tribunal under any Act -

(i) that is constituted by a magistrate; or
(ii) of which a magistrate is the chairperson;

(d) ...
(e) children's courts within the meaning of the Child Welfare Act 1960;
(f) ..."

Although some 50 or more Tribunals are affected, the principal Tribunals are:

  • The Public Vehicles Licensing Appeal Tribunal
  • The Anti-Discrimination Tribunal
  • The Workplace Health and Safety Tribunal
  • The Police Disciplinary Board

Magistrates appointed to those Tribunals have been so appointed with the consent of the Chief Magistrate in accordance with the Declaration of Principles on Judicial Independence Issued by the Chief Justices of the Australian States and Territories dated the 10th day of April 1997.

2. Purpose and Scope

The purpose of this Direction is to set out the procedures which will apply to the Tribunals that are within the statutory definition of "lower courts" ("the Tribunals") insofar as it is necessary to ensure their successful integration within the Court to the intent that the Court and the Tribunals may operate in an effective, efficient and principled manner.

3. Operational Arrangements

(a) The Magistrates Court of Tasmania's Civil Division Registry ("the Registry") at Hobart shall have responsibility for supplying all registry support functions to all Tribunals.

(b) All matters pending at the commencement of these procedures shall be the responsibility of the Registry and shall be given an identifying Court File Number.

(c) All matters filed with the Court after the commencement of these procedures shall be filed with the Registry and given an identifying Court File Number.

(d) All liaison functions between the relevant Magistrate and relevant Agencies as well as all correspondence shall be performed through the Registry.

(e) The Registry shall be specifically responsible for:

  • liaising with the relevant Magistrate and Court Clerk as to the venue, date and time of any hearing, meeting or conference (whether initial or adjourned);
  • ascertaining the availability of suitable Court accommodation for the Tribunal for the hearing, meeting or conference (whether initial or adjourned);
  • complying with the Chief Magistrate's Administrative Direction No 1 of 1999 (as to the availability of Court Clerks for out of region sittings);
  • advising relevant Agencies and parties of hearing, meeting and conference venues, dates and times (whether initial or adjourned), although to the extent that notifications to parties are currently issued by other Agencies, those arrangements will continue on the basis that the Registry will advise the relevant Agency of the relevant information;
  • ensuring that all sittings (and changes thereto) of Tribunals are published promptly by appropriate amendments to the email Public Folders: Magistrates Court: Court Calendars.

DATED the 5th day of January 2000

A G Shott
Chief Magistrate