Please note, as of Monday 7 December 2020, the process for requesting court file and litigation searches will need to be completed using RedCrest. Read more about eAccess launching on 7 December and about using RedCrest.
From 1 October 2021 evidentiary documents will be available for inspection after they have been read or relied on in open court, or for an application determined without a hearing. Read more about the changes.
In general, documents filed in a proceeding may be inspected and copied on payment of the proper fee. However, some documents may be confidential and require an Order of the Court or permission from the Prothonotary, Deputy Prothonotary or Registrar (where appropriate).
Documents filed in criminal proceedings are generally not available for inspection.
You may wish to contact the relevant Registry before making a request to inspect a file to determine whether the file and documents are available for inspection, and to obtain further information about how long your request might take.
Litigation/party name searches may be conducted to determine whether a person or entity is a party to a civil Supreme Court proceeding.
To conduct a litigation search, an Application to Search a Court file or Record form will need to be completed and submitted through RedCrest. Once your request has been approved, the results will be emailed to you.
Results may not display if there are certain restrictions on the publication of names or court proceedings. The information provided is for civil cases initiated in the Court since 1 January 1990.
A fee is payable for each litigation search. You will be required to authorise the relevant payment in PayPal after you have submitted your search request in RedCrest.
Searching Court files
To conduct a court file search for a proeeding in the Trial Division or Court of Appeal, an Application to Search a Court file or Record form will need to be completed and submitted in RedCrest. For probate searches, please see 'searching probate records'.
All search requests are reviewed by a member of the Registry Services team. You will be advised by email when your request has been approved. If your request is not approved, an email will be sent to you explaining why.
If the proceeding number contains an ‘E’ (referring to ‘Electronic’), documents approved for search will be emailed to you. If the proceeding number does not contain an 'E', this means that the Supreme Court of Victoria maintains a paper file for this proceeding. The relevant Registry will advise you as to how documents may be inspected, which may include in-person attendance at the relevant Registry. Generally, in-person inspections will occur at the Principal Registry at 450 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne.
Parties and their legal representatives may also have electronic access in RedCrest to their file if it is maintained as an electronic proceeding. See ‘Access to Electronic court files by parties’, below.
A fee is payable to search a court file. You will be required to authorise the relevant payment in PayPal after you have submitted your search request in RedCrest.
If you attend the Registry in-person to photocopy documents (if required as part of an in-person inspection), then further photocopying fees will apply. Photocopying fees do not apply if you bring a USB drive and scan documents.
Civil Trial Division files
To search a proceeding in the Common Law Division, Commercial Court or Costs Court, please submit an Application to Search a Court file or Record form in RedCrest.
For any enquries. please contact the Principal Registry by email@example.com@yrtsigerlapicnirp or by calling 03 8600 2000.
Criminal Trial Division files
Documents within a criminal proceedings cannot be searched unless permission is obtained in accordance with rule 1.11(4) and rule 1A.03(6) of the Supreme Court (Criminal Procedure) Rules 2017.
To apply to search a criminal proceeding, please submit an Application to Search a Court file or Record form in RedCrest.
For any enquiries, please contact the Criminal Registry by firstname.lastname@example.org@noisividlanimirc or by calling 03 8600 2004.
Court of Appeal files
Documents within a criminal Court of Appeal proceeding cannot be searched unless permission is obtained in accordance with rule 1.11(4) and 1A.03(7) of the Supreme Court (Criminal Procedure) Rules 2017.
To search a Court of Appeal proceeding, please submit an Application to Search a Court file or Record form in RedCrest.
For any enquiries, please contact the Court of Appeal Registry by email@example.com@yrtsigeraoc or by calling 03 8600 2001.
Please see ‘searching probate records’.
Access to Electronic Court files by Parties
Parties to a proceeding may request enhanced case access to electronic court files, which are those proceedings that contain an ‘E’ (referring to ‘Electronic’). In these circumstances, a request to search may not be required.
Please ask the Case Manager to email firstname.lastname@example.org@tsercder , informing the Court that they approve the granting of enhanced case access to you. The Case Manager is the person responsible for the proceeding whose details appear in the ‘tram tracks’ on the initiating or first responding document filed in the proceeding.
Requests from the media
News media organisations can request to search a court file or record by submitting an Application to Search a Court file or Record form in RedCrest.
For enquiries regarding litigation or court file searches, please contact the Principal Registry at email@example.com@hcraesyrtsigeraidem . Please also see the media centre.
Documents produced under 42AA subpoena may be searched on, or after, the date for production provided the Court has not received any objections to the subpoena.
Please see Inspecting and Issuing Subpoenas for further information.
The Supreme Court only has information regarding divorce records prior to 1976. All enquiries regarding divorce records after 1976 should be directed to the Family Court of Australia. The Prothonotary will assess whether access will be given to a record and to which documents.
To obtain a copy of a pre-1976 divorce certificate you will need:
- A completed Application for a Copy of Divorce Information form
- Payment of the prescribed Prothonotary's Fees.
Or, if you wish to also apply to access pre-1976 divorce records you will need:
- A completed Application for a Copy of Divorce Information form.
- A sworn Affidavit in Support of application for divorce information.
- Payment of the prescribed Prothonotary's Fees.
For more information about obtaining divorce records please contact the Principal Registry.
A transcript is the written record of what has happened in Court during a trial or hearing. The transcript forms part of the official record of proceedings.
Further information may be found at Transcript Services.
A certificate of good standing is required by practitioners as evidence that they are currently enrolled in the Victorian Supreme Court roll of barristers and solicitors so that they may practise interstate or overseas.
Obtaining a certificate of good standing
A certificate of good standing can be obtained from the Principal Registry. To apply for a certificate of good standing, the following is required:
- A certificate of fitness (for solicitors) from the Victorian Legal Services Board or a certificate of good standing (for barristers) from the Victorian Bar Association.
- A covering letter, setting out the date of admission, the applicant's full name at the date of admission, return address details and the reasons why the certificate is required.
The letter should be sent to the registry admissions clerk on the day the application is submitted for a certificate of fitness.
- Payment of the appropriate: Prothonotary's Fees.
Applications for a certificate of good standing can take up to three weeks to process. Certificates are sent to applicants by registered post. Please contact the Victorian Legal Services Board if your application is urgent.
For enquiries, please contact the admissions clerk on 8600 2003 or email firstname.lastname@example.org@snoissimda .
A duplicate admissions order is a certified copy of the original admission certificate.
If you require a copy of your original admission certificate, or for more information, please contact the admissions clerk at the Principal Registry on 8600 2003 or email email@example.com@snoissimda .
The Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Act 2014, the Legal Profession Uniform Law and the Legal Profession Uniform Admission Rules 2015 came into operation on 1 July 2015.
The Admission Rules specify the academic qualifications and practical legal training prerequisite for admission, the accrediting and re-accrediting of law courses and providers of practical legal training and the procedural requirements for admission to the legal profession.
Under an Instrument of Delegation, the Victorian Legal Admissions Board (VLAB) established the Victoria Legal Admissions Committee (VLAC) to assess applicants for admission in Victoria and to grant Compliance Certificates under s 19 of the Uniform Law and grant declarations of early assessment and suitability.
For further information, please contact the Board on (03) 9604 2451 or visit http://www.lawadmissions.vic.gov.au/
The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act) gives you the right to request access to documents held by Court Services Victoria. For more information, view the freedom of information information on Court Services Victoria's website.
- Recent Trial Division judgments and sentences.
- Recent Court of Appeal judgments.
A large number of unreported judgments, sentencing remarks and judgment summaries from the 1950s to the present can be found using the Law Library of Victoria catalogue.