Courts and Tribunals

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There are many Courts and Tribunals that govern the laws of Western Australia and the Commonwealth. A snapshot of each of the more common Courts and Tribunals is set out below. For more information click each link to go through to the Court or Tribunal's website.


The State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) in Western Australia deals with a broad range of administrative, commercial and personal matters. These matters span human rights, vocational regulation, commercial and civil disputes, and development and resources issues. The Tribunal is the primary place for the review of decisions made by Government agencies, public officials and local governments. It also makes a wide variety of original decisions.

The Magistrates Court deals with civil matters that involve:

  • claims for debt or damages of up to $75,000;
  • minor claims for debt or damages up to $10,000;
  • consumer/trader claims over the sale, supply or hire of goods or services;
  • residential tenancy matters involving amounts up to $10,000; and
  • claims for the recovery of 'real property' up to a gross rental value of $75,000.

There are a range of forms for use in all civil proceedings initiated in the Magistrates Court, which are available from the Court’s website.

The District Court is an intermediate trial court placing it between the Magistrates Court and the Supreme Court in the Western Australian courts hierarchy. The District Court deals with serious criminal offences including serious assaults, sexual assaults, serious fraud and commercial theft, burglary and drug offences. The District Court also determines civil claims up to $750,000 and has unlimited jurisdiction in claims for damages for personal injury.

The Supreme Court is the State’s highest court, with responsibility for both criminal and civil matters. Generally it hears civil cases where the amount involved in the dispute is more than $750,000, or where land and real property is involved in the dispute. It also deals with very serious criminal charges, such as murder, armed robbery and serious breaches of Commonwealth drug enforcement laws.