The security of tenure of Australian magistrates

Kathleen Mack, Sharyn Roach Anleu

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Security of judicial tenure is essential for the independence and impartiality of Australia’s courts. Although magistrates and their courts deal with over 90 per cent of all civil and criminal matters resolved in Australian courts, the tenure of magistrates is not protected to the same extent or in the same ways as the tenure of judges of the higher courts. This disparity is especially marked in the processes and criteria for removal and suspension from office and in the lack of salary guarantees. Lesser protection for the magistracy is not justified by any relevant distinction between the courts. Those who appear before magistrates are entitled to a judicial officer who is accorded at least the same degree of independence — protected by appropriate mechanisms — as other courts.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)370-398
    Number of pages29
    JournalMelbourne University Law Review
    Volume30
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

    Keywords

    • Judicial tenure
    • Magistrates Court
    • Magistrates

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