Understanding the Courts

Australia has a system of both federal and state courts (sometimes referred to as ‘the judiciary’). The following courts operate in Victoria.


  • Supreme Court of Victoria
  • County Court
  • Magistrates' Court (which includes a number of specialised divisions)
  • Children's Court
  • Coroners Court

In addition to these courts, there are also several tribunals operating in Victoria.


  • High Court
  • Federal Court of Australia
  • Family Court of Australia
  • Federal Circuit Court of Australia

Full details of the system of federal and state courts and their different responsibilities are available here.
Information about all Victorian courts and tribunals is shown here and an overview of the Victorian system of justice is available here.

There are many other people (‘parties’) involved in any court hearing and an explanation of the role of each person is available here.

The definition of many of the words used in the legal system is available in the Victoria Law Foundation Legal Glossary or download a PDF copy.