The Local Court is the lowest court in the hierarchy and deals with minor criminal and summary offences. It will also hear minor civil disputes with monetary value up to $60 000. The Local Court holds committal hearings, which are preliminary hearings where the magistrate determines if there is sufficient evidence against the defendant to warrant a trial in a higher court. The High Court of Australia is the highest court in Australia and was established in 1901.
It deals with appeals from the Federal Courts, Family Court and Supreme Court. It also deals with matters of interpreting the Australian Constitution and the constitutional validity of laws. In December 2012, the Australian Government launched an appeal to the High Court against the gay marriage act passed in the ACT. The appeal was upheld and 31 marriages were annulled. Court hierarchy Local Court and High Courts of Australia By Jess_skinner annulled.