Legislation is the term used to describe the laws made by Parliament. These laws can be divided into three main categories, Acts of Parliament, Bills and Delegated legislation. Legislation is also sometimes referred to as 'statutory law'.
An Act of Parliament is a specific body of law that is passed by the Parliament and is given royal assent by the Crown. In the Commonwealth Parliament this involves the Act being passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate then royal assent from the Governor-General. The states have a similar process. An Act does not become law until it has received royal assent. Proclamations of Acts which have received royal assent are published in the Government Gazette. After royal assent the act this it is given a number. e.g. the Federal Magistrates (Consequential Amendments) Act 1999 (Cth) is Act No. 194 of 1999.
The main Acts related to the Federal Circuit Court are:
- The Federal Circuit Court of Australia Act 1999
- The Federal Circuit Court of Australia Act 1999 established the Federal Circuit Court of Australia. It sets out the organisation of the Federal Circuit Court, its management and procedures.
- The Federal Magistrates (Consequential Amendments) Act 1999 amends a variety of legislation to establish the jurisdiction of the Federal Circuit Court.
- Jurisdiction of Courts (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act 2000
- This act clarifies some of the areas of jurisdiction of the Federal Circuit Court.
Before an Act has received royal assent it is known as a Bill. A Bill is a legislative document in the form of proposed Act that is introduced into a Parliament for discussion and consideration. Explanatory memoranda are usually released when a Bill has been introduced to Parliament. Explanatory memoranda details the purpose of the Bill and the proposed sections or clauses.
See these explanatory memoranda which are related to the jurisdiction of the Federal Circuit Court:
- Federal Magistrates (Consequential Amendments) Bill 1999
- Jurisdiction of Courts (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2000
In an Act the Parliament may delegate authority to the Executive arm of government (the Governor-General in Council i.e. with Ministers) or Head of a Department, to make Rules, Regulations and By-Laws connected with the Act. This is usually termed 'delegated' or 'subordinate' legislation.
The main Regulations and Rules that relate to the Federal Circuit Court are:
- Federal Court and Federal Circuit Court Regulation 2012 and Family Law (Fees) Regulation 2012
- Federal Circuit Court Rules 2001