The New South Wales Local Court traces its origin to the bench of Sydney magistrates established by Governor Phillip in the late 18th century. Made up of more than 150 courts with the power to hear cases in civil, criminal and family law, it is now the largest court in Australia. It is where all criminal and some civil cases first enter the court system. Today, 98% of all criminal and civil cases are finalised in the Local Court.
The retirement age of magistrates was extended to 72 years old, the same as judges of superior courts
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