The Supreme Court’s information hub provides an insight into the work of the Court.
My name is Anne Ferguson, and I am the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria.
The Supreme Court hears some of the most serious criminal cases and most complex civil cases in Victoria. It also hears some appeals from Victorian courts and tribunals.
You may be familiar with some of the matters that are heard and decided here. But there are also things about our court you may not be aware of.
As Chief Justice, I want to make sure that what judges do, how we do it and why we make the decisions we make are easily understood by all people.
This Virtual Information Hub provides an insight into how the Court serves the community.
It gives you a glimpse into judicial decisions by providing access to judgment summaries, sentences and recordings of some proceedings. You can download the podcast we made about the Court, Gertie's Law, or watch new lawyers being admitted to practise.
You can also explore how the next generation of lawyers in VCE are building their own knowledge about how the Court operates or delve into our rich history.
I hope you find what you need and take something new away with you.
Thank you for paying a virtual visit to the Supreme Court of Victoria.
What's on at the Court
The Supreme Court hears some of the most serious criminal cases and most complex civil cases in the State of Victoria. It also hears some appeals from Victorian courts and tribunals. The Court has two distinct divisions, the Trial Division and the Court of Appeal. The Trial Division is made up of three divisions: the Criminal Division, the Common Law Division and the Commercial Court. Since COVID-19 began, many matters have been heard in virtual hearings.
The public can view some proceedings first hand or via public live streaming. You can also watch lawyers being admitted to practise law or judges’ welcome and farewell ceremonies via our virtual video library.
To find out what matters are scheduled to be heard visit the Daily Hearing List.
Chief Justice’s address at the Bendigo Law Courts opening
Public Live Streams
COVID-19 AND THE COURT
GERTIE'S LAW PODCAST
History Of The Court
The Work of the Court
The Court serves the community by upholding the law through just, independent and impartial decision-making and dispute resolution. It is made up of two divisions – the Court of Appeal and the Trial Division.
The Court of Appeal is the highest court in the state and determines whether a trial was conducted fairly, and whether the law was applied correctly. It hears criminal or civil appeals of decisions made in the Trial Division of the Supreme Court, the County Court of Victoria and some matters from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
In 2021-22, the Court delivered a combination of virtual, hybrid and in-person hearings and services.
The Court has built on the lessons and technological improvements pioneered during the pandemic.
Here are some recent highlights from the Court's annual report 2021-22:
- Matters finalised by the Common Law Division increased by 20.5 per cent with finalisations exceeding the number of new cases initiated. The Court of Appeal also finalised more criminal appeals than were initiated.
- 1,035 court days were saved by judicial mediation, with 61 per cent of mediated matters resolving on the day. Costs Court mediations saved a further 449 days of court hearing time.
- A cross-divisional Commercial and Retail Leases list was established in the Common Law Division and Commercial Court to consolidate the management of these proceedings, simplifying the process for court users.
- Associate Justice Fiona Steffensen was appointed as Senior Master, responsible for administering Funds in Court, and is the first woman to be appointed to the role.
- Registry Services answered 8,594 queries from self-represented litigants, an increase of more than 30 per cent on 2020-21.
- eFiling saw the Probate Office reduce the time between filing and obtaining a grant of probate to an average of two days or less, while also managing an increase in applications.
- 2,178 high school students participated in the Court’s online education program, more than doubling the outreach of 2020-21.