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District Court of
Western Australia
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History

The District Court of Western Australia was established on 1 April 1970.  While the prevailing judicial system of the Supreme Court, the Local Courts and Courts of Petty Sessions had been adequate, the rapid expansion of Western Australia’s population required the establishment of an intermediate system of courts. Another Court was also needed to relieve pressure and avoid a backlog of cases in the other courts, especially the Supreme Court.

The District Court of Western Australia was therefore established with both criminal and civil jurisdiction, to provide a flexible framework to accommodate the needs of Western Australia in the administration of justice.

In 1971 civil trials were temporarily held in the Public Trust building behind St George’s Cathedral. Criminal trials continued to be heard in the Supreme Court. From April 1982 the District Court was relocated to the Central Law Courts at 30 St George’s Terrace allowing both criminal and civil cases to be heard in the one building.

In 1999, due to continued growth in the Court’s caseload, the District Court took possession of four additional criminal courtrooms created in the May Holman Centre adjacent to the Central Law Courts.  The District Court was based in Central Law Courts and the May Holman Centre until June 2008 when it relocated to its current, purpose-built court house at 500 Hay Street, Perth.

Last updated: 2-Jul-2014

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