Federal Magistrates Court to close

The Federal Magistrates Court of Australia is to be abolished under a restructure plan announced by the Commonwealth Attorney-General Rob McClelland today.

The Court was established in 1999 to ease the workloads of the Federal Court and Family Court of Australia. It currently hears the less serious cases in civil litigation, and deals with almost all divorce applications. Due to state courts being vested with Commonwealth jurisdiction, the Federal Magistrates Court rarely hears criminal cases.

The abolition of the Court had been expected for a while, after ongoing criticism about expense, inefficiency and duplication.

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