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Functions and duties of the Judicial Registrar - Common Law Division position at the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Position description

Judicial Registrars have jurisdiction in a range of civil matters under Order 84 of Chapter 1 of the Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules 2015. The Judicial Registrar’s principal function will be to undertake case management and hear and determine interlocutory applications across a range of lists in the Common Law Division including matters referred by a Judge or Associate Judge. Those lists are:

  • Civil Circuit List
  • Confiscation and Proceeds of Crime List
  • Dust Diseases List
  • Employment and Industrial List
  • Institutional Liability List
  • Judicial Review and Appeals List
  • Major Torts List
  • Personal Injuries List
  • Professional Liability List
  • Property List
  • Testators Family Maintenance List
  • Trusts, Equity and Probate List
  • Valuation, Compensation and Planning List

The Judicial Registrar will work closely with the Judges and Associate Judges in those lists and the Principal Judge of the Common Law Division to facilitate the just, efficient, timely and cost-effective resolution of the real issues in dispute in matters within the Division. The role involves working closely with registry lawyers and staff regarding the day-to-day case-management and list-coordination work of the Division.

The Judicial Registrar may also conduct judicial resolution conferences (mediations) under Chapter 5 of the Civil Procedure Act 2009 and Rule 50.7.4 of Chapter 1.

Other duties

Judicial Registrars may be assigned further duties by the Chief Justice from time to time including:

  • undertaking the specialist duties of another Judicial Registrar in their absence, including the duties of the Judicial Registrar in Funds in Court;
  • leading or being a member of internal or external committees; and
  • leading or participating in Court reform projects.

Abilities and Qualities

The Framework of Judicial Abilities and Qualities for Victorian Judicial Officers and the Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration Suggested Criteria for Judicial Appointments (January 2024) provide a helpful reference of abilities and qualities required of all judicial officers. The particular abilities and qualities for this role are highlighted below.

Knowledge and technical skills

  • Sound knowledge of the common law and its application.
  • Sound knowledge of court procedure.
  • Maintain and enhance knowledge of law, procedure, underlying principles and their application, as appropriate to this jurisdiction.
  • Mediation skills.

Communication and authority 

  • Listen attentively.
  • Ask clear, concise, relevant and understandable questions.
  • Treat others with respect, and so inspire respect and confidence.
  • Exercise authority calmly and professionally, particularly when challenged.
  • Maintain control of the courtroom, using fair direction or intervention.
  • Manage hearings to enable fair and timely disposal.

Professionalism and integrity 

  • Maintain independence and authority of the court.
  • Personal discipline.
  • Promote the highest standards of behaviour in court.

Efficiency

  • Actively manage cases to promote efficient and just conclusion of matters.
  • Work well under heavy workload, large case volume and time pressure, while maintaining high standards.
  • Case manage individual matters effectively.
  • Manage large daily lists efficiently.
  • Use IT and master new IT processes.

Decision making 

  • Quickly absorb and analyse complex, competing facts and legal argument.
  • Make timely, well-reasoned, fair and consistent decisions.

Leadership and management 

  • Strategically plan and organise.
  • Manage change.
  • Engage constructively and collegially with others, including judicial colleagues, court administrators and staff, and others in the workplace.
  • Motivate, support and encourage performance of others.
  • Maintain and improve judicial and court performance.
  • represent the court externally.
  • use resources efficiently and effectively.
  • contribute to the development of court and legal policy.