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Hot Topics: Courts and Tribunals

This issue provides an overview of Australia's court system, federal and state, and how it fits within the legal system. It covers the areas dealt with by different courts and tribunals, judges, juries and judicial accountability. It also examines diversionary options and alternative dispute resolution measures such as MERIT, mediation, youth justice conferencing and circle sentencing.

Author note

This issue is based on previous issues of Hot Topics Courts: 38 and 71. Updates to the text have been provided by NSW Courts and Tribunal Services and the Legal Information Access Centre.

This issue was updated in September 2021 to reflect the commencement of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.

Find more Hot Topics.



Chapter eleven

NSW specialist courts

Land and Environment Court - Coroners Court - Childrens Court - Drug Court - Chief Industrial Magistrates Court - Industrial Court.

Chapter twelve


Tribunals - administrative review tribunals - professional disciplinary tribunals.

Chapter thirteen

Federal tribunals

Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) - Fair Work Commission.

Chapter fourteen

NSW Tribunals

NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) - Industrial Relations Commission - Workers Compensation Commission.

Chapter fifteen


Appeals - appellate structure - High Court appeals - review.


Hot Topics: Courts. Hot Topics is intended as an introductory guide only and should not be interpreted as legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information, the Legal Information Access Centre does not assume responsibility for any errors or omissions.

© Library Council of New South Wales 2017. Copyright in Hot Topics is owned by the Library Council of New South Wales. Material contained herein may be copied for the non-commercial purpose of study or research, subject to the provisions of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth).