VICTORIA’S COURTS may be renamed and judicial titles changed under proposals by the State’s Attorney-General to make the justice system more relevant and accessible to Victorians.
A-G Rob Hulls said the names of the State’s courts no longer reflected the role of the jurisdictions. “Our court buildings stand as symbols of justice and they should be seen as part of the community rather than distinct from it.” He said the name County Court was inherited from our colonial ties with the United Kingdom and was irrelevant in Australia where we have states, territories and the Commonwealth.
The title of Magistrate, Hulls said, was also an anachronism from an earlier time when the court’s jurisdiction was narrower than that of lower courts today. Hulls has asked heads of jurisdictions and key stakeholders to comment on proposals to change existing names from: Magistrates’ Court to Community Court or Local Court; County Court to District Court or Regional Court, and replace the title of Magistrate with Judge.