On 17 October 2007 a new Magistrates Court, known as the Magistrates Court Stirling Gardens, was established in the Supreme Court building. There is no Magistrates Court registry at the Supreme Court.
The Principal Registrar of the Supreme Court and a Registrar of the Supreme Court were appointed as Magistrates to preside at the Supreme Court building. A Magistrate sits at 9.15 am every Wednesday morning at the Supreme Court building. The Magistrates Court list is included in the Supreme Court list published in the West Australian Newspaper and this website.
The Magistrates Court Stirling Gardens only deals with proceedings in respect of Supreme Court indictable matters. Accordingly, all accused charged with Supreme Court indictable offences when first appearing in any Magistrates Court are remanded to appear on the second Wednesday from the date of referral to the Supreme Court building in Stirling Gardens. If an accused is in custody or was released to bail at a place other than the Perth metropolitan area that appearance is by video or audio link. Where there is any associated charge it is remanded, together with the Supreme Court indictable charge/s, and is only returned to the court of origin if there is to be a trial in relation to it and it is not to be jointly tried with the charge/s to be tried in the Supreme Court.
The State Director of Public Prosecutions acts as prosecutor in the Magistrates Court Stirling Gardens but is not responsible for disclosure under s 42(5) of the Criminal Procedure Act 2004. The responsibility for disclosure prior to the disclosure/committal hearing remains with the investigating officers who commence each prosecution.
The establishment of the Magistrates Court Stirling Gardens expedites the committal and hearing of criminal cases in the Supreme Court. It effects a system of individual case management of each matter from start to finish. To this end, the parties are encouraged to engage in voluntary case conferencing at a very early stage notwithstanding the lack of full prosecution disclosure.
Matters that are not resolved within one month of the accused's first appearance are provisionally listed for trial on dates convenient to counsel and the main prosecution witnesses. Unless in any particular case there is good reason to delay proceedings, those dates will generally be within six months of the accused's arrest. The provisional trial dates are subject to any necessary adjustments brought about by late prosecution disclosure, and only become fixed upon the accused's first appearance in the Supreme Court following committal.
Although the above measures are relatively simple reforms they have some very beneficial outcomes. Defended matters are resolved much earlier than before notwithstanding a significant increase in the time between provisional listing and trial. Accordingly, accused have a better opportunity of obtaining their counsel of choice. More importantly, accused who are in custody spend less time on remand, and alleged victims and secondary victims gain earlier closure. The efficiencies that flow from these reforms result in significant savings in public expenditure.
The Magistrates Court Stirling Gardens contact details are the same as those for the regular Supreme Court Registry.Last updated: 21-Jan-2014