History of the County Court



    • County Courts established in 1852 by the County Courts Act.
    • Provide inexpensive and accessible courts for the disposal of small civil claims.
    • Separate County Courts were established in gazetted locations, including Melbourne and some provincial cities and towns.
    • A Judge or Judges were then appointed to each. As a result, each Judge was a resident Judge presiding at a particular Court.


    • In 1857 each Court was given jurisdiction throughout the whole of Victoria.


    • In1957 the County Court Act was amended to create one County Court in, and for, the State of Victoria.

The County Court was, by definition, an inferior court. Jurisdiction was defined and confined by the terms of an Act of parliament.

    • Apart from the power to regulate its own procedure, the County Court had no inherent powers.
    • Jurisdiction attached to the Court itself and the Judges were appointed to exercise that jurisdiction.
    • The County Court, unlike the Supreme Court, was not constituted by the Judges themselves.

The Council of Judges has responsibility for the overall governance of the Court under the County Court Act. The CEO is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Court.


The size of the County Court has increased along with its jurisdiction and function. In 2002, the Court moved to a new purpose-built facility which provided better amenity for the Judges, court staff, jurors and the general public.

Present Day