QUEENSLAND DISTRICT AND SUPREME COURTS

THE DISTRICT COURT IN QUEENSLAND

The District Court is the next Court above the Magistrates Court in the hierarchy of Courts.

The District Court hears:

  • Appeals from the Magistrates Court.
  • Pleas of guilty (sentence hearings).
  • Pre-trial hearings.
  • Trials

 

Who hears matters in the District Court?

The judicial member who sits in Court and hears matters in the District Court is a “Judge”. When addressing a Judge in Court you refer to them as “Your Honour” not Sir/Madam or Your Worship. In Court Judges generally wear a wig and dress in a black robe.

Trials in the District Court can be heard before a jury or a judge alone.

If your matter proceeds to trial before a jury, then it is the jury who ultimately determines if you are guilty beyond reasonable doubt of having committed the offence/s. The Judge will decide all other issues, including what penalty to impose if you are found guilty.

If your trial is heard before a Judge alone, then it is the Judge who will determine all issues including if you are guilty and what penalty to impose if they find you guilty.

 

What types of offences does the District Court hear?

The District Court deals with a number of serious offences, including offences such as: –

  • Arsons.
  • Frauds where the value involved is greater than $30,000.00.
  • Grievous bodily harm.
  • Robbery.
  • Sexual offences including rape.
  • Torture.

 

What is the maximum penalty the District Court can impose?

 The maximum penalty the District Court can impose is 20 years imprisonment (this means a Judge in the District Court can not sentence a person to more than 20 years imprisonment for any offence). 

 

THE SUPREME COURT IN QUEENSLAND 

The Supreme Court deals with the most serious of criminal offences in Queensland.

The Supreme Court hears such matters as:

Bail applications where persons have been denied bail by the Magistrates Court or are seeking bail for the offence of murder.

  • Pleas of guilty (sentence hearings).
  • Pre-trial hearings.
  • Trials.

 

Who hears matters in the Supreme Court?

The judicial officer who sits in Court and hears matters in the Supreme Court is a “Judge”. When addressing a Judge in Court you refer to them as “Your Honour” not Sir/Madam or Your Worship. In Court Judges generally wear a wig and dress in a black robe.

Trials in the Supreme Court can be heard before a jury or a judge alone.

If your matter proceeds to trial before a jury, then it is the jury who ultimately determines if you are guilty beyond reasonable doubt of having committed the offence/s. The Judge will decide all other issues, including what penalty to impose if you are found guilty.

If your trial is heard before a Judge alone, then it is the Judge who will determine all issues including if you are guilty and what penalty to impose if they find you guilty.

 

What types of offences does the Supreme Court hear?

The Supreme Court deals with the most serious offences, including offences such as: –

  • Murder.
  • Manslaughter.
  • Trafficking in Schedule 1 Dangerous Drugs such as cocaine, heroin and methylamphetamine etc.

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