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Federal Circuit Court of Australia” established in law

The Hon Nicola Roxon MP, Attorney-General, issued the following media release today (21 November 2012).

Legislation to rename the Federal Magistrates Court ‘the Federal Circuit Court of Australia’ and change the title of Federal Magistrates to Judge passed the Parliament this week.

Attorney-General Nicola Roxon said the Federal Circuit Court of Australia Legislation Amendment Bill 2012 is an important measure to more accurately reflect the Federal Magistrates Court’s modern role and its accessibility for all court users.

“The newly named Federal Circuit Court of Australia clearly signals to all, the prominence of its circuit work to regional areas and the federal nature of its jurisdiction,” Ms Roxon said.

The Bill amends the Federal Magistrates Act 1999 and other legislation relating to Federal Magistrate entitlements.

“The legislation focuses on ensuring the smooth continuation of the Court and retain existing entitlements and arrangements for its judicial officers under the new name and titles,” Ms Roxon said.

The changes are expected to commence in the first half of next year, following introduction of separate legislation to cover consequential amendments to the many other references to the Court and Federal Magistrates in the Commonwealth statute book.

The Federal Circuit Court of Australia Legislation Amendment Bill 2012 and consequential amendments are part of the Government’s ongoing court reform agenda to provide greater certainty around the responsibilities and role of each of the federal courts.

Passage of the legislation follows a recent $38 million injection into the courts to maintain services for regional residents and disadvantages court users, and complements other important court reforms, including:

  • implementing a transparent complaints process against judicial officers,
  • expanding the diversity of judicial appointments,
  • establishing the Military Court of Australia, and
  • merging of the administrative functions of the Family Court and the Federal Magistrates Court to allow both courts to operate more efficiently and effectively

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