“ved the County Court or District Court,

“ved at all levels andprovides for an efficient and effective means of administering our legalsystem”The quote is one hundred percent correct. The court hierarchy plays a veryimportant role in our society as it provides efficient and effectivejustice at all levels of state.

Court hierarchy is defined as ‘A gradedsystem of both state and federal courts that exist in Australia in whichthe courts are arranged in ascending order of authority. Courts having theleast authority are at the bottom of the hierarchy and courts withauthority to hear the most important cases at the top.’ The lower courtsare known as the Magistrates’ Court or Local Court, followed by theintermediate courts known as the County Court or District Court, with theSupreme Court at the top. The highest court to which any litigant mayappeal from either a state or federal court is the High Court of Australia.Each court in the hierarchy has its own boundaries or limits on what sortof cases it can hear. This is called jurisdiction.

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The type of case ordispute that you are involved in will determine which court the case willbe heard in. All of the courts have original jurisdiction, that is, theability to hear a case for the first time. Some courts have appellatejurisdiction, which is the power to hear appeals from cases that were firstheld in lower courts. All of the courts have both civil and criminaljurisdiction so that they can hear disputes that involve the infringementof people’s rights and cases resulting from police prosecutions forbreaking the law. These jurisdictions provide a fine line, as to whatpowers each court has and where their powers stop, which allows for a moreorganized, efficient and effective legal system.

Appeals are people before a court, who call on a higher court to review thedecision made in a lower court. These appeals must be granted by the highercourt or by the trial judge. There are many grounds on which a party maycontest a court decision, including appeals on questions of fact or pointsof law. This has to be granted by the higher court or by the trial judge.Appeals create fairness for both the victim and accused, where both havethe ability to call on the higher court to review the decision made, ifthey found it unjust in any way.

This makes the court hierarchy achievejustice at all levels.Precedent is the reasoning underlying a court’s decision. The applicationof a precedent may be either binding or persuasive in nature. From the timethe precedent is set, people involved in similar case expect that theircase will have the same outcome.

This works well in court hierarchyproviding the mechanism for decisions made from the higher courts to bebinding on the courts lower down the ladder.Even though the court hierarchy system has been up for a long time and manypeople trust it and feel confident in its ability to find truth andjustice, there is still some uncertainty. Some examples of advantages ofthis system can include the correction of wrong verdicts, allows a case tobe heard by more than one judge and another jury, created the need forjudges to be accountable, creates a more flexible legal system, provides”choices” for plaintiffs and defendants to either pursue or accept legaloutcomes and it creates more certainty that the final verdict is thecorrect one and provides a sense of certainty and equal fairness ofrepresentation. Some disadvantages include the cause of legal systems todrag for too long, provides incentives for solicitors/barristers to earnmore money, challenges the ‘integrity’ of the jury verdict, benefits therich who can afford to keep cases going, punishes victims who most endurere-hearing evidence that may have caused distress and causes a lack ofconfidence in the legal system.The court hierarchy is much required and can easily be seen to ensure thatjustice is achieved at all levels which provides for an efficient andeffective means of administering our legal system.

With such a just andreasonable system having such a big role in our society, it boosts theconfidence of the citizens in the country.


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