Legal Dictionary

magistrates' court

Legal Definition of magistrates' court


magistrates' court (plural magistrates' courts)

Related terms

Definition of magistrates' court

Further reading

Magistrates' Court can refer to:

  • Magistrates' Court (England and Wales)
  • Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 of the United Kingdom
  • Magistrates Courts, Liverpool court building
  • Magistrate's Court of Jersey
  • Magistrates' Court (Hong Kong)
  • Magistrate Courts of Israel
  • Magistrates' Courts of South Africa
  • Magistrates' Courts (Malaysia)
  • District Courts of New Zealand, known as the Magistrates' Courts of New Zealand until 1980
  • Magistrates Court of the Australian Capital Territory
  • Magistrates Court of the Northern Territory
  • Magistrates' Court of Queensland
  • Magistrates' Court of South Australia
  • Magistrates' Court of Tasmania
  • Magistrates' Court of Victoria
  • Magistrates Court of Western Australia

Magistrates' Court (England and Wales)

A magistrates' court or court of petty sessions, formerly known as a police court, is the lowest level of court in England and Wales and many other common law jurisdictions. A magistrates' court is presided over by a tribunal consisting of two or more (most commonly three) justices of the peace (also known as magistrates) or by a district judge (formerly known as a stipendiary magistrate), and dispenses summary justice, under powers usually defined by statute. The tribunal presiding over the Court is commonly referred to simply as the Bench.

Magistrates' Courts (Malaysia)

Magistrates are divided into First Class and Second Class Magistrates, the former being legally qualified and having greater powers. Second Class Magistrates are now not normally appointed.

In criminal matters, First Class Magistrates' Courts generally have power to try all offences of which the maximum term of imprisonment does not exceed 10 years or which are punishable with fine only, but may pass sentences of not more than five years imprisonment, a fine of up to RM10,000, and/or up to twelve strokes of the cane. The Magistrates' Courts hear all civil matters with less than RM25,000 in dispute. The Magistrates' Courts also hear appeals from the Penghulu's Courts.

Magistrates Court of the Australian Capital Territory

The Magistrates Court of the Australian Capital Territory is a court of summary jurisdiction in Canberra, Australia. The court deals with the majority of less serious criminal cases and the majority of small civil cases in that territory. The court is located on London Circuit, Canberra at Civic.


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1.     landed property
2.     lex fori
3.     status quo
4.     ownership
5.     lex loci delicti commissi
6.     lex situs
7.     sodomy
8.     lex causae
9.     unjustified
10.     AORO