Supreme Court of Queensland

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Supreme Court of Queensland
Coat of Arms of Queensland.svg
Queen Elizabeth II Courts of Law, Brisbane 03.jpg
Façade of the Queen Elizabeth II Courts of Law building in Brisbane the main sitting location of the Court.
Established7 August 1861 (1861-08-07)
JurisdictionFlag of Queensland.svg  Queensland
Location Brisbane
Coordinates 27°28′4″S153°1′14″E / 27.46778°S 153.02056°E / -27.46778; 153.02056 Coordinates: 27°28′4″S153°1′14″E / 27.46778°S 153.02056°E / -27.46778; 153.02056
Composition method Vice-regal appointment upon nomination by the Premier following the advice of the Attorney-General and Cabinet
Authorized by Queensland Parliament via the:
Appeals to High Court of Australia
Appeals from District Court of Queensland
Judge term lengthmandatory retirement by age of 70
Number of positions26
Website www.courts.qld.gov.au
Chief Justice of Queensland
Currently Catherine Holmes
Since7 September 2015 (2015-09-07)
President of the Court of Appeal
Currently Walter Sofronoff QC
Since3 April 2017 (2017-04-03)
Senior Judge Administrator, Trial Division
Currently John Byrne AO , RFD
Since3 August 1998 (1998-08-03)

The Supreme Court of Queensland is the highest court in the Australian State of Queensland. [1] It was formerly the Brisbane Supreme Court, in the colony of Queensland.

Contents

The original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court allows its trial division to hear civil matters involving claims of more than A$750,000; criminal matters involving serious offences (including murder and manslaughter); and matters arising under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and cross-vesting legislation. [1] A jury is used to decide whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty. The division also hears all civil matters involving amounts of more than A$750,000. A jury may be used to decide these disputes.

The appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court allows its Court of Appeal to hear cases on appeal from the District Court, the trial division of the Supreme Court, and a number of other judicial tribunals in Queensland. [1] Decisions made by the Supreme Court may be taken on appeal to the High Court of Australia in Canberra only by a grant of special leave of the High Court of Australia.

History

The Supreme Court of Queensland was founded on 7 August 1861, with the assent of the Supreme Court Constitution Amendment Act 1861 (Qld). Two subsequent pieces of legislation, including the Additional Judge Act 1862 (Qld) and the Supreme Court Act 1863 (Qld), were also necessary to establish the court's operating system. [2]

Prior to separation of Queensland from New South Wales, the former naval officer, Captain John Clements Wickham, tried minor crimes in the Moreton Bay District. More serious cases were tried at the Supreme Court of New South Wales in Sydney. Two years before separation from New South Wales, the Moreton Bay Supreme Court Act 1857 (NSW) established the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of New South Wales in the Moreton Bay District and Samuel Milford served as Judge. Milford resigned in February 1859, and was replaced by Alfred Lutwyche. [2]

Rockhampton Supreme Court, ca. 1890. Queensland State Archives 2705 Rockhampton Supreme Court corner East and Fitzroy Streets Rockhampton c 1890.png
Rockhampton Supreme Court, ca. 1890.

Initially, the Brisbane Supreme Court served as the Supreme Court for all of Queensland. As the colony's population grew, two other courts were constructed. The first sittings of the Northern Supreme Court were held at Bowen in 1874 and the Bowen Court House was built in 1880 in classical revival style. The Central Supreme Court was officially opened at Rockhampton in 1896. After the opening of the Central Supreme Court at Rockhampton, the Northern Supreme Court moved from Bowen to Townsville. Justice Virgil Power, who served as the first Judge of the Central Supreme Court, was the first Queensland-born Supreme Court Judge. As the population of Queensland has grown, additional courts have been built at locations such as Bundaberg, Mackay, Cairns, Longreach, Maryborough, Roma and Townsville. [2]

Although the Brisbane Supreme Court initially served the needs of the entire colony of Queensland, it did not occupy a purpose-built building until 1879. Until then, the Brisbane Court sat at the Old Convict Barracks in Queen Street. These barracks were in disrepair and a number of improvements, including new sets of windows, had to be constructed to allow the continued sitting of the Court. Furthermore, on Sundays, the area of the barracks used by the Court was also used as a church. Although the Court's surroundings were not elaborate, Parliament did provide an annual grant towards the establishment of a Supreme Court Library from 1861 to 1879. [2]

By 1870, despite minor building modifications to the convict barracks, it had become clear that a new building was required to house the Brisbane Supreme Court. A site on George Street was selected and the prominent colonial architect, Francis Drummond Greville Stanley, submitted plans for an elaborate neoclassical building which was two storeys tall. These original plans featured stone floors and other sophisticated detail. They were later modified for financial reasons and in 1875 John Petrie successfully tendered to construct the building. [2]

Supreme Court building, Brisbane, ca. 1891 StateLibQld 1 107644 Supreme Court building, Brisbane, ca. 1891.jpg
Supreme Court building, Brisbane, ca. 1891
Architectural plans for the first Law Courts, constructed 1880 Architectural plans for the Law Courts, Brisbane, constructed 1880.jpg
Architectural plans for the first Law Courts, constructed 1880

On 6 March 1879, the new Supreme Court opened. The entrance on the North Quay frontage had been designed as the main entrance but this was soon superseded by the George Street entrance. In 1880, iron gates were also added to the building. In 1931, the Queensland Public Works Department provided funds for the renovation of the interior of the Brisbane Supreme Court. [2]

On the night of 2 September 1968, the building that housed the Brisbane Supreme Court was damaged by arson. [3] It was subsequently demolished, and in 1976, it was replaced with a building designed by Bligh Jessup Bretnall and was opened by Queensland Governor Sir James Ramsay on 3 September 1981. [2]

In 1989, Justice Angelo Vasta was removed from the court by Queensland Governor on the request of the Parliament. This was the first time since federation that any state had used that method to remove a sitting judge from a Supreme Court. [4] Vasta was found to be not "a fit and proper person to continue in office" after giving false evidence to an investigation related to the Fitzgerald Inquiry.

In 2008, a A$600 million building program began to create a new Brisbane Supreme Court and District Court building, designed by Architectus Brisbane, led by Prof John Hockings. The building is known as the Queen Elizabeth II Courts of Law and was officially opened on Friday 3 August 2012 by Queensland Governor Penelope Wensley. It incorporates a public plaza and links to the existing Brisbane Magistrates Court building. [5] The precinct occupies an entire city block between George, Roma and Turbot streets. [2]

Composition

Coat of Arms of Queensland.svg

Queensland Court Hierarchy

Federal Law Courts

Queensland Law Courts

In 1991 the Queensland Supreme Court was restructured into two divisions, the Trial Division and the Court of Appeal. The Court is headed by the Chief Justice of Queensland (currently Chief Justice Catherine Holmes) who sits in both the Trial Division and the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal comprises the President (currently Justice Walter Sofronoff) and four Judges of Appeal, who sit only in the Court of Appeal. Proceedings in the Court of Appeal are usually heard by three judges. The Trial Division comprises a number of trial judges, and is headed by the Senior Judge Administrator (currently Justice Ann Lyons). Proceedings in the Trial Division are heard by one trial judge. Most trial division judges also rotate through the Court of Appeal, usually for three week periods.

Appeals from:

The Court of Appeal also hears appeals from the District Court of Queensland.

Judges of the Court as of September 2018 are:

PositionNameDate appointedTerm in officeNotes
Chief Justice Catherine Holmes 11 September 20155 years, 127 days [6]
President, Court of Appeal Walter Sofronoff 3 April 20173 years, 288 days [6]
Judge of Appeal Hugh Fraser 25 January 200812 years, 357 days [6]
Robert Gotterson AO 27 April 20128 years, 264 days [6]
Philip McMurdo 24 November 20155 years, 53 days [6]
Philip M. Morrison 1 August 20137 years, 168 days [6]
Anthe Philippides 18 December 20146 years, 29 days [6]
Senior Judge Administrator Ann Lyons 24 August 20173 years, 145 days [6]
Judge Peter Applegarth 28 August 200812 years, 141 days [6]
Roslyn Atkinson, AO 3 September 199822 years, 135 days [6]
David Boddice 2 July 201010 years, 198 days [6]
John K. Bond 19 March 20155 years, 303 days [6] [7]
Helen Bowskill 10 July 20173 years, 190 days [6]
Susan Brown 16 December 20164 years, 31 days [6]
Martin Burns 18 December 20146 years, 29 days [6]
Tim Carmody 8 July 20146 years, 192 days [6]
Graeme Crow 26 February 20182 years, 325 days [6]
Jean Dalton 24 February 20119 years, 327 days [6]
Martin Daubney 13 July 200713 years, 187 days [6]
James Douglas 27 November 200317 years, 50 days [6]
Peter Flanagan 27 June 20146 years, 203 days [6] [8]
James Henry 12 September 20119 years, 126 days [6]
David Jackson 8 October 20128 years, 100 days [6] [9]
Glenn Martin 31 August 200713 years, 138 days [6]
Duncan McMeekin 15 October 200713 years, 93 days [6]
Debra Mullins 16 March 200020 years, 306 days [6]
David North 18 July 20119 years, 182 days [6]
Soraya Ryan 9 March 20182 years, 313 days [6]

Noted former judges

Facilities

The Supreme Court sits mainly in the Queen Elizabeth II Courts of Law in Brisbane, which also houses the District Court. [5] The court began operating out of this facility on 27 August 2012, prior to which it was located in the Law Courts Complex. [5]

The court also has judges permanently appointed to sit in Rockhampton, Townsville and Cairns, and regularly sits in other regional districts. [6]

See also

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References

Citations

  1. 1 2 3 "Supreme Court". Department of Justice and Attorney-General (Queensland). Government of Queensland. Archived from the original on 30 June 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Robinson, Shirleene. "150 years of the Supreme Court of Queensland". Queensland State Archives. Archived from the original on 11 November 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  3. "Labourer 'set fire to court'". The Canberra Times . 6 September 1968. p. 3. Retrieved 11 November 2014 via National Library of Australia.
  4. Campbell, Enid; Lee, H. P.; Campbell, Enid Mona (2013). The Australian Judiciary. Cambridge University Press. pp. 120–121. ISBN   978-0521769167. Archived from the original on 7 March 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  5. 1 2 3 "New Brisbane Supreme and District Court". Department of Justice and Attorney General (Queensland). Government of Queensland. Archived from the original on 21 August 2013. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 "Judges". Supreme Court (Qld). Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  7. "Judicial Profiles: The Honourable Justice John K Bond". Supreme Court Library Queensland. Supreme Court Library Queensland. Archived from the original on 23 June 2016. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  8. "Judicial Profiles: The Honourable Justice Peter Flanagan". Supreme Court Library Queensland. Archived from the original on 26 February 2017. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  9. "Judicial Profile: The Honourable Justice David J Jackson". Supreme Court Library Queensland. Archived from the original on 22 April 2016. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  10. McPherson, B. H. Douglas, Edward Archibald (1877–1947). Canberra: National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. Archived from the original on 29 December 2014.
  11. McPherson, B. H. Douglas, Robert Johnstone (1883–1972). Canberra: National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016.

Sources

Attribution