New federal jurisdiction for MCV
New jurisdiction: MCV now hearing federal matters previously dealt with by VCAT.
For details on how parties can apply directly to MCV visit the
Federal Jurisdiction page.
A new, civil federal jurisdiction is now operating in the Civil Division of the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria. This jurisdiction will hear some applications previously heard by VCAT.
It follows a Court of Appeal ruling in Meringnage v Interstate Enterprises & Ors  VSCA 30.
The court found VCAT is not a 'court of a state', meaning it cannot hear matters:
- between states, residents of different states or a state and resident of another state
- in which the Commonwealth is suing or being sued
- involving the Constitution or its interpretation
- arising under any laws made by the Commonwealth Parliament.
Legislation to remedy this was passed by the Victorian Parliament and proclaimed on 29 November 2021.
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal and Other Acts Amendment (Federal Jurisdiction and Other Matters) Act 2021 enables MCV to hear the affected matters. The legislation can be viewed here.
Measures have been put in place by both MCV and VCAT to ensure ongoing access to justice, with parties now able to apply directly to the Magistrates' Court.
The decision does not affect parties who are:
- a corporation or State political entity
- a resident of a territory
- an overseas resident
Related case links: