District Court of Queensland

The District Court of Queensland (QDC) is the second tier in the court hierarchy of Queensland, Australia.[1] The Court deals with serious criminal offences such as rape, armed robbery and fraud. Juries are used to decide if defendants are guilty or not guilty.

District Court of Queensland
Cairns Courthouse, a permanent location for the District Court
Established1866–1921; 1958
Jurisdiction Queensland
LocationQueen Elizabeth II Courts of Law in Brisbane; Beenleigh; Cairns; Ipswich; Maroochydore; Rockhampton; Southport, Townsville
Composition methodVice-regal appointment upon nomination by the Premier following the advice of the Attorney-General and Cabinet
Authorized byQueensland Parliament via the: District Court Act 1967 (QLD)
Appeals toSupreme Court of Queensland
Appeals fromMagistrates Court of Queensland
Judge term lengthmandatory retirement by age of 70
Number of positions39
Websitewww.courts.qld.gov.au
Chief Judge
CurrentlyBrian Devereaux SC
Since17 August 2020 (2020-08-17)

The original court was established in 1866 to ease the workload of the Supreme Court of Queensland. However, in 1921 the Queensland Parliament decided District Courts were no longer necessary and the courts were abolished. They were re-established by Parliament in 1958, again to relieve the workload in the Supreme Court. The present court is constituted under the District Court of Queensland Act 1967 (Qld).[2] That Act amalgamated the previous District Court in existence prior to 1967 into the new District Court.

The District Court sits in 32 locations across Queensland. Judges also travel throughout the state to hear matters in regional and remote areas.

Decisions made by the District Court may be heard on appeal to the Supreme Court; and the District Court may sit as an appellate court for decisions made in the Magistrates Court of Queensland.[1] The unreported judgments of the District Courts is published on the Queensland Judgments website.

Jurisdiction

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Civil

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The District Court has jurisdiction to hear civil matters for which the amount in dispute is less than or equal to $750,000, and more than $150,000.[1] Civil disputes in which the amount in dispute is more than $750,000 are heard by the Supreme Court, while those in which the amount is $150,000 or less are heard by either the Magistrates Court or the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.[1] District Court civil decisions are published on the Queensland Judgments website.

Criminal

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The District Court has the jurisdiction to hear criminal matters in which the defendant has been charged with a serious indictable offence (such as armed robbery, rape, and dangerous driving).[1] These trials require a jury. District Court criminal decisions are published on the Queensland Judgments website.

Composition

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Chief Judge of the District Court

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Name Date appointed Term in office Notes
Chief Judge Brian G Devereaux SC 17 August 2020 (2020-08-17) 1,400 days as of 17 June, 2024 [3]

Judges of the District Court

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The District Court operates permanent courts in Brisbane, located in the Queen Elizabeth II Courts of Law building on George Street, Brisbane CBD; and Cairns, Ipswich, Maroochydore, Rockhampton, Southport, Townsville, and sits in regional areas as required.[1][4] In Brisbane, the District Court shares the location with the Supreme Court.

As of April 2021, the judges who sat at the District Court, together with their location, were:[3]

Name Location Date appointed Term in office Comments
Judge John Allen QC Brisbane 17 December 2018 (2018-12-17) 5 years, 208 days Deputy President, Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal
Judge Ken Barlow QC Brisbane 18 June 2019 (2019-06-18) 5 years, 24 days
Judge Michael J. F. Burnett Rockhampton 3 November 2014 (2014-11-03) 9 years, 252 days
Judge Michael Byrne QC Brisbane 20 January 2020 (2020-01-20) 4 years, 174 days
Judge Glen Cash QC Maroochydore 2 July 2018 (2018-07-02) 6 years, 10 days
Judge Craig Chowdhury Beenleigh 13 May 2016 (2016-05-13) 8 years, 60 days
Judge Leanne Clare SC Brisbane 2 April 2008 (2008-04-02) 16 years, 101 days
Judge Jeffrey Clarke Rockhampton 31 August 2020 (2020-08-31) 3 years, 316 days
Judge John Coker Townsville 8 March 2018 (2018-03-08) 6 years, 126 days
Judge Geraldine Dann Southport 7 September 2020 (2020-09-07) 3 years, 309 days
Judge Ian Dearden Brisbane 28 February 2005 (2005-02-28) 19 years, 135 days
Justice Julie M. Dick SC Brisbane 14 December 2000 (2000-12-14) 23 years, 211 days
Judge William G. Everson Brisbane 2 April 2008 (2008-04-02) 16 years, 101 days
Judge Tracy Fantin QC Brisbane 16 October 2017 (2017-10-16) 6 years, 270 days
Judge Brad Farr SC Brisbane 11 August 2011 (2011-08-11) 12 years, 336 days
Judge Terry Gardiner Brisbane 8 July 2019 (2019-07-08) 5 years, 4 days Also Chief Magistrate
Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren SC Ipswich 20 October 2012 (2012-10-20) 11 years, 266 days
Judge Rowan Jackson QC Southport 31 August 2020 (2020-08-31) 3 years, 316 days
Judge Nathan Jarro Brisbane 26 March 2018 (2018-03-26) 6 years, 108 days
Judge Richard Jones Brisbane 19 February 2010 (2010-02-19) 14 years, 144 days
Judge Nicole Kefford Brisbane 14 November 2016 (2016-11-14) 7 years, 241 days
Judge David Kent QC Southport 7 March 2016 (2016-03-07) 8 years, 127 days
Judge Gary Long SC Maroochydore 13 May 2011 (2011-05-13) 13 years, 60 days
Judge Vicki Loury QC Brisbane 17 December 2018 (2018-12-17) 5 years, 208 days
Judge Dennis Lynch QC Ipswich 2 December 2016 (2016-12-02) 7 years, 223 days
Judge Gregory Lynham Townsville 24 April 2017 (2017-04-24) 7 years, 79 days
Judge Dean P. Morzone QC Cairns 27 October 2014 (2014-10-27) 9 years, 259 days
Judge Tony Moynihan QC Brisbane 25 June 2015 (2015-06-25) 9 years, 17 days
Judge Catherine Muir Southport 14 November 2016 (2016-11-14) 27 years, 307 days
Judge Katherine M. McGinness Southport 17 July 2009 (2009-07-17) 7 years, 241 days
Judge Bernard Porter QC Brisbane 28 August 2017 (2017-08-28) 6 years, 319 days
Judge Michael E. Rackemann SC Brisbane 12 January 2004 (2004-01-12) 20 years, 182 days
Judge Anthony J. Rafter SC Brisbane 15 December 2006 (2006-12-15) 17 years, 210 days
Judge David Reid Brisbane 19 February 2010 (2010-02-19) 14 years, 144 days
Judge Deborah Richards Brisbane 26 November 1998 (1998-11-26) 25 years, 229 days
Judge Orazio Rinaudo Brisbane 8 July 2014 (2014-07-08) 10 years, 4 days
Judge Jennifer Rosengren Brisbane 11 September 2017 (2017-09-11) 6 years, 305 days
Judge Suzanne C. Sheridan Brisbane 24 November 2014 (2014-11-24) 9 years, 231 days
Judge Paul E. Smith Brisbane 8 March 2013 (2013-03-08) 11 years, 126 days Also Judge Administrator
Judge Michael Williamson QC Brisbane 19 March 2018 (2018-03-19) 6 years, 115 days

See also

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References

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  1. ^ a b c d e f "The District Court of Queensland" (PDF). Department of Justice and Attorney-General (Queensland). Government of Queensland. 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 November 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
  2. ^ District Court of Queensland Act 1967 (Qld)
  3. ^ a b "Judges of the District Court contacts". Department of Justice and Attorney-General (Queensland). Government of Queensland. 26 July 2016. Archived from the original on 17 August 2016. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  4. ^ "Courthouses contacts". Department of Justice ad Attorney-General (Queensland). Government of Queensland. 2012. Retrieved 16 June 2012.