State and Federal Jurisdiction – What’s the difference?
Many courts and tribunals exist within Australia, and with each dealing with a different type of matter, it is not surprising that so many people get confused as to which court or tribunal is relevant to their matter. To ensure that you receive a cost effective solution to your matter, it is important for you to know which jurisdiction your matter falls into.
First and foremost, there is a split between matters that are governed by legislation that has been introduced on the federal level, and those which are governed by legislation that has been introduced on a State/Territory level. The court or tribunal relevant to your proceedings will depend on what category your dispute falls into, and what laws it is governed by. It is important for you to classify your matter in order for you to then determine whether you need legal advice, and if you do, who you can engage to represent you. There is no point approaching a law firm based in Western Australia if you reside in New South Wales (NSW) and your matter concerns the purchase of a business in NSW, or a dispute with your NSW neighbour.
Matters which fall under federal jurisdiction are those that are national in nature, where the dispute arises under a law made by Parliament, or under a treaty, or where the Commonwealth is a party, or where the dispute is between States or residents of different States, or a State and a resident from another State, just to name a few.
This means that if your dispute relates to GST, CGT, FBT and PAYG tax related matters; insolvency and bankruptcy; immigration*; family law; business structures (ie companies, trusts, self managed super funds, partnerships); auditing standards*; employment matters arising under the Fair Work Act; intellectual property (ie patents, trademarks, copyright) or franchising then it can be regarded as a federal matter. Here at Quinns, we can assist you with all disputes you may have that relate to a federal matter, as the law is applied uniformly across all States and Territories.
The Federal Court, High Court, Family Court and the Federal Circuit Court are the only courts that have the authority to deal with federal matters. The court relevant to your proceeding will depend on the nature of the dispute and the parties involved.
All other matters, namely matters that arise under a law made by State Parliament, fall under State jurisdiction. There are many courts, tribunals and commissions that operate on a State level, including the Local Court, District Court, Supreme Court, the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT), the Workers Compensation Commission, and the NSW Land and Environment Court, and the types of matters that they deal with are vast.
Here at The Quinn Group, we can assist you with matters that arise under the jurisdiction of the State of NSW. This means that we can help you with matters relating to;
• stamp duty, payroll tax and land tax;
• the purchase and sale of a business;
• general litigation;
• leases (including residential, retail, commercial and industrial leases);
• criminal matters;
• neighbour disputes;
• Wills & Estates; and
• Strata Law.
If you have a matter that relates to any of those listed above, or you have a Federal matter, the team of experienced lawyers and accountants here at The Quinn Group can help you. Call (02) 9223 9166 to book an appointment, or submit an enquiry online.