Supreme Court of Victoria

The Supreme Court of Victoria is the superior court for the State of Victoria, Australia. It was founded in 1852, and is a superior court of common law and equity, with unlimited jurisdiction within the state. Those courts lying below it include the County Court of Victoria and the Magistrates' Court of Victoria. The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, which is not a court, serves a judicial function. Above it lies the High Court of Australia. This places it around the middle of the Australian court hierarchy. The building itself is on the Victorian Heritage Register.

Supreme Court of Victoria
Emblem of the Supreme Court of Victoria
Arms of the Supreme Court of Victoria
Coordinates37.814132°S 144.957932°E / -37.814132; 144.957932
Composition methodAppointed by Governor on the advice of the Executive Council.
Authorized byVictorian Constitution
Appeals toHigh Court of Australia
Judge term lengthMandatory retirement by age of 70
Chief Justice of Victoria
CurrentlyThe Honourable Chief Justice Anne Ferguson
Since2 October 2017

Jurisdiction of Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has two divisions - the Trial Division and the Court of Appeal.

The Trial Division sits with one judge, and usually acts as a court of original jurisdiction for serious criminal matters such as murder, attempted murder, corporate offences and certain conspiracy charges, and civil matters which are considered to involve greater complexity or amounts of money more than would be appropriate to have determined in the Magistrates' Court (whose civil jurisdictional limit is $100,000) or County Court (whose jurisdiction has since the beginning of 2007 been unlimited as to amount). The Trial Division also acts as an appeal court from the Magistrates' Court on questions of law, and appeals from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal on points of law, except against an order of the President or Vice-President of the Tribunal. It also hears federal indictable offences such as treason.

The Commercial Court is a sub-division of the Trial Division, composed of specialist judges to deal with commercial disputes.

The Court of Appeal hears appeals from the County Court and the Trial Division, as well as appeals on points of law from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal against the order of the President or Vice-President, and usually consists of a panel of three Judges of Appeal. In rare cases where it is sought to overrule or reconsider the correctness of a previous Court of Appeal decision, it can sit with five judges.


The main buildings for the Supreme Court are located at the corner of William and Lonsdale Streets in Melbourne and in nearby buildings.[1]

The Supreme Court also does circuits to Ballarat, Geelong, Warrnambool, Hamilton, Horsham, Bendigo, Mildura, Shepparton, Wangaratta, Wodonga, Sale and Morwell. In these locations the Court uses the facilities of the local Magistrates' Court.[1]

Current Judges

(appointment date in brackets):[2]

Chief Justice

  • Anne Ferguson (Trial Division from 3 May 2010; Court of Appeal from 12 August 2014)

President of the Court of Appeal

Judges of the Court of Appeal

  • Pamela Tate (16 September 2010)
  • Simon Whelan (Trial Division from 17 March 2004; 16 October 2012)
  • Phillip Priest (23 October 2012)
  • David Beach (Trial Division from 5 September 2008; 22 October 2013)
  • Emilios Kyrou (Trial Division from 15 May 2008; 29 July 2014)
  • Stephen Kaye (Trial Division from 2003; 3 February 2015)
  • Stephen McLeish (5 March 2015)
  • Richard Niall (28 November 2017)
  • Kim Hargrave (Trial Division from 18 March 2005; 19 December 2017)
  • Terry Forrest (Trial Division from 13 October 2009; 10 July 2018)
  • Karin Emerton (Trial Division from 13 October 2009; 10 July 2018)

Judges of the Trial Division

See also


  1. "Locations". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  2. "Judges". Supreme Court of Victoria. Archived from the original on 1 March 2015.
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