The Hon Nicola Roxon MP, Attorney-General, Minister for Emergency Management - 13 September 2012

Introducing the Federal Circuit Court of Australia

Minister for Emergency Management

13 September 2012

What we know as the Federal Magistrates Court will soon become the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, and the title of Federal Magistrate will be renamed Judge to better reflect their important role in Australia's judicial system.

Attorney-General Nicola Roxon announced the change today as part of the Government's ongoing court reform agenda to provide greater certainty around the responsibilities and role of each of the federal courts.

"The Federal Circuit Court of Australia better reflects the Court's modern role in the federal judicial system and its accessibility for all court users," Ms Roxon said.

"The new name for the Court also highlights the important service it provides to rural and regional communities through its program of regular court circuits.

"From Bundaberg to Burnie, Alice Springs to Albury, the Court undertook work in 33 regional locations last year. This amounts to 145 weeks of hearing matters in regional Australia.

"The title of Judge better reflects the role and responsibilities of a federal judicial officer, which is significantly different from that of a state or territory Magistrate."

"I am confident that the name of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and the title of Judge will better recognise the character and importance of the work undertaken by the Court and enable it to approach the future with confidence. 

"This is another step towards providing greater certainty of arrangements for the Court and demonstrates the Government's commitment to building a genuinely constructive relationship with the Court."

This announcement follows a recent $38 million injection into the courts along with other important court reforms, including:

  • implementing a transparent complaints process against judicial officers
  • expanding the diversity judicial appointments, and
  • establishing the Military Court of Australia.

Selection of the new name follows consultation with the Federal Magistrates Court and the federal courts.

The Government intends to bring forward legislation to make the changes in the current parliamentary sittings.

For all media enquiries, please contact the Attorney-General's Office on 02 6277 7300 or 0409 945 476

Denise Healy
National Media and Public Affairs Manager
Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia
Phone: 03 8600 4357 or 0409 743 695