Today's legal system in Australia has federal and state parliaments and court systems. Both the federal and state court systems are arranged in a hierarchy. Each of the courts within the hierarchy are responsible for hearing different matters, have their own jurisdictions and own presiding judges. In Australia we have state and federal laws. Federal laws have authority over affairs concerning the whole country for example telecommunications and immigration, whereas a state jurisdiction presides over a certain state, such as education and mining affairs. Thus we have two courts to deal with jurisdiction over the two areas. Federal Courts deal with jurisdiction over the nation as a whole and State courts handle matters, which come under State jurisdiction. The High Court of Australia is an example of federal court; it is the highest court in the Australian judicial system. The Magistrate's court is an example of state court; this particular court is the lowest ranked court in a state or territory.
At the head of the judicial system of the commonwealth is the High Court of Australia. Established in 1901 by Section 71 of the Constitution the High Court consists of seven justices including a chief justice, who are appointed by the governor-general. Each Judge makes his/her own decision on cases, and where decisions are not unanimous, the decision of the majority prevails.
The basic functions of the High Court are to interpret and uphold the Constitution of Australia; to resolve cases of federal significance, including challenges to the constitutional validity of laws and to hear appeals and cases referred from other courts.
The High Court's jurisdiction is broad, covering all criminal and civil matters arising under Australian federal law. The High Court of Australia is acknowledged as the court of "last resort". A majority of the Court's work...