Develop a knowledge and understanding of the legal system and sources of law in Australia
Develop a knowledge and understanding of the fundamental principles of the law of contract in Australia
Reflect upon the values and assumptions inherent in the law of contract, and the impact/implications of that law and the problems that arise from the breakdown of a contractual relationship
Develop a knowledge and understanding of tortious principles generally, and the law of negligence more particularly
Demonstrate an understanding of the core principles of agency law, consumer law, property law, intellectual property law, and debt collection including bankruptcy.
For the purpose of this assignment I decided to visit the District court and the Magistrate court in Brisbane. I visited the courts on the same the same day on 25th October 2017. I visited the district court once and then the magistrate court. I went to the district court at 10 am and to the magistrate court at 2 pm in the afternoon on Monday. In both the courts I witnessed one case each. This paper has details about the case which I had witnessed in the district court.
The name of the case which was witnessed by me was Storry v Commissioner of Police  QDC 282. The case was an appeal against the decision made in the magistrate court. On the day it was a hearing date for the case where the final judgment was to be provided by the judge. The counsel on behalf of the appellant was M R Fitzpatrick and on behalf of the respondent was Gallagher. The solicitors on behalf of the appellant were Direct brief and on behalf of the respondent was Director of Public Prosecutions. The court in which the case was held was preceded over by Dearden DCJ. In this case the appellant had been found guilty of not giving way to a vehicle at an intersection which had a stop sign. A fine had been imposed on the appellant of $475 along with $93.50 as court fee and $104 as witness expenses. The appeal to the court have been made under five grounds. These are that judge improperly considered the damage borne by the vehicles, the judge failed to consider appellant’s defence that the Hyundai was speeding which resulted in the collision with the appellant, The judge did not consider aspects of Senior Constable Wilson’s proof related to the issue of speed , the appellant seeks to adduce fresh evidence in relation to speed and the judge was wrong to take Mr Weir’s evidence.
The appeal was dismissed by the district court and the decision of the magistrate court had been upheld. The court had based its decision on certain case laws such as Gallagher v The Queen (1986) 160 CLR 392, Johnson v Queensland Police Service  QCA 195, McDonald v Queensland Police Service  QCA 255 and Powell v Chief Executive Officer of Customs  QCA 338. The legislations which had been referred to by the judges include transport Operations (Road Use Management – Road Rules) Regulation 2009 s 67, Schedule 5 and Justices Act 1886 s 223.
There are various differences between the process in which the district and the magistrate courts operate. The major distinction between the two courts is that the courts although in the same state have different jurisdictions. The magistrate court deals with less serious civil and criminal matters whereas the district court deals with more serious matters. The cases in district court are presided over by judges whereas the cases in magistrate courts are presided over by the magistrates. The civil matters which are trialed in the magistrate court have a value of less than $150000 on the other had matters which have a value of more than $150000 and less than $750000. The criminal matters which are decided by the magistrate court and district courts are almost same. Both the courts are not allowed to trial cases which involve rape, murder and robbery. There is a limit to the maximum penalty which can be imposed by the local or magistrate courts in relation to its matters; this limit is more in relation to district court as compared to local courts. For instance for the offence of supplying drugs of a small quantity in local courts is two year of imprisonment and/or a $5,000 fine in the Local court. On the other hand in the same situation the fine which can be imposed by a district court is 15 years in prison and/or a $220,000 fine. However the magistrate court cannot hear strict indictable offences and they have to be dealt with by district court or the Supreme Court. In a magistrate court only a single judge presides over the proceedings and on the other hand in the district court the jury is also present alongside the judges to decide a criminal case. A magistrate has to be a practicing lawyer in Australia for five years and on the other hand the judges have to be practicing lawyers for a period of seven years in Australia.
I have a very incredible experience on my first visit to both the courts. I had attained some knowledge about the case I witnessed through the daily list published by the court the day before my visit through the official website of the courts. I had taken note of court etiquettes which have to be maintained by people visiting the court. The Practical court experience was very different from what is portrayed in movies. In reality the system is very well organized and the judges are treated with utmost respect. Everyone stands when the judges or magistrates enter or leave the court room. The people who come to visit the court maintain silence and are soberly dressed. The attorneys in the court behave in a very professional manner. I regret the fact that I was not able to witness a cross examination as it is one of my areas of interest. Overall the court visit was an amazing experience.