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The Federal Circuit Court of Australia use to be called the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia. The rename occurred in 2013. This change did not affect any of the Courts operational functions, its mission or jurisdiction. The Circuit Court sits in every major capital city throughout Australia and its justices go on periodic circuit to remote areas where access to the Court system may be difficult. The objectives of the Court are outlines as follows on its website:

The Court was established to provide a simple and accessible alternative to litigation in the Federal Court of Australia (Federal Court) and the Family Court of Australia (Family Court) and to relieve the workload of those courts.

The FCC Act directs the Court to operate informally and to use streamlined procedures. This complements the Parliament’s initiatives to encourage people to engage in a range of dispute resolution processes.

The Court is committed to providing access to justice to the people of Australia. The Court’s expansive regional circuit network is demonstrative of this commitment. Judges regularly travel to various regional locations to hear matters, alleviating the burden on regional litigants (and their legal representatives) to travel to major cities to have their matters dealt with. The Federal Circuit Court is the only federal court that regularly conducts regional circuits. The Court’s commitment to the provision of access to justice for all Australians is further illustrated by its ability to conduct special sittings in most regions of Australia on demand.” [1]

The areas of litigation that can be pursued at the Circuit Court are as follows:

  • Administrative Law:
    • Where a breach of natural justice is alleged,
    • Where mandatory procedures were not observed,
    • Jurisdictional error,
    • Ultra vires,
    • Improper exercise of power,
    • Error of law,
    • Fraud,
    • No evidence for the making of the disputed decision,
    • Decision alleged to be contrary to the law.
  • Admiralty Law:
    • Maritime claim,
    • Damage suffered to ship,
    • Alternative dispute resolution in relation to admiralty and maritime disputes.
  • Bankruptcy.
  • Child Support:
    • Child Support Notice,
    • Specialist Panel,
    • Urgent Applications.
  • Consumer Matters:
    • Misuse of market power,
    • Industry Codes,
    • Consumer law.
  • Intellectual Property:
    • Disputes regarding trademarks:
      • Appeals from the Registrar of Trademarks,
      • Infringement of trademark disputes,
      • Dispute regarding the revocation of trademarks,
      • Disputes regarding the use of trademark,
      • Dispute whether or not a trademark is generic,
      • Dispute concerning the amendment of registration of trademark,
      • Dispute concerning the cancellation of registration of trademark,
      • Applications to remove a trademark from the register due to non-use,
      • Rectification or correction of trademark register,
      • Rules regarding the certification of trademarks.
    • Disputes regarding designs:
      • Appeals from the Registrar of Designs,
      • Determinations as to standing of litigant in design disputes,
      • Infringement of design,
      • Relief from unjustified threats,
      • Application regarding compulsory licenses for designs,
      • Revocation of registration of a design,
      • Disputes involving Cown rights and liabilities in design disputes,
      • Rectification or correction of design register.
  • Family Law:
    • Parenting and Financial Disputes,
    • Divorce proceedings,
    • Contravention proceedings,
    • Applications for Injunctions,
    • Superannuation disputes.
  • Human Rights:
    • Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Cth),
    • Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth),
    • Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth),
    • Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth).
  • Industrial Law:
    • Workplace Relations Act 1996 (Cth),
    • Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth),
    • Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Cth).
  • Migration:
    • Matters relating to the review of decisions from the Migration Review Tribunal.
  • Privacy:
    • Disputes relating to the National Privacy Principals,
    • Matters involving the Privacy Commissioner.

If you have a litigation matter which may fall under the heading of any of the above areas of legal practice and may therefore go to or be before the Federal Circuit Court, you may wish to contact our office and make an appointment to see one of our solicitors in our Sydney office. By appointment, we can also make a time for you to see one of our lawyers in one of our branch offices.

[1] “Introduction to the Federal Circuit Court of Australia” Federal Circuit Court of Australia website (updated 19 April 2011) <www.federalcircuitcourt.gov.au> (accessed 6 December 2013). Note that the update to this website predated the renaming of the court from the Federal Magistrates Court to the Federal Circuit Court. This indicates that there is no intention to alter the objectives of the Court as a result of its name-change

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This webpage (and any material or wording appearing on this webpage) is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute any Legal Advice. It does not take into account your objectives, your instructions or all of the relevant facts and/or circumstances. Navado accepts no responsibility to any person who relies on the information provided on this website. We further refer you to our Disclaimer.

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