Common Types of Civil Appeals in QLD

The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal or QCAT handles minor civil disputes and most of the administrative cases in QLD. Depending on the seriousness of the offence, many civil cases are lodged in the Magistrate, District and Supreme Courts. Appeals for these cases may be filed with the Court of Appeals.

Before knowing the common types of civil appeals in QLD, let’s first discuss the civil cases handled by each tribunal.

Civil Cases Handled by the Tribunals of Queensland


  • Building disputes;
  • Guardianship;
  • Dividing fences;
  • Consumer disputes;
  • Tenancy disputes;
  • Tree disputes;
  • Debt disputes up to $25,000; and
  • Other minor civil disputes.

Magistrate Court

  • Compensation cases valued up to $150,000;
  • Care and protection cases filed in Children’s Court;
  • Death cases revolving around unusual circumstances; and
  • Unresolved disputes in the QCAT.

District Court

  • Compensation cases valued between $150,000 to $750,000;
  • Breach of contract;
  • Compensation for personal injury cases;
  • Defamation cases; and
  • Cases appealing the Magistrate Court’s decision.

Supreme Court

  • Compensation cases valued above $750,000; and
  • Cases appealing the Magistrate and District Cout’s decision.

Court of Appeals

  • Handles arguments that question an alleged “mistake of law” made during the trial in the lowers courts such as the Magistrate, District, and Supreme Court’s decision.

What are the common types of civil appeals in QLD?

Generally, civil cases appealing the lower court’s decision are handled by a higher court like the District and Supreme Courts. This includes compensation matters, decisions from the Children’s Court, decisions from the Coroner’s Court, and other civil cases.

Here are 6 common types of civil appeals cases in QLD:

Compensation Appeal Cases

Compensation matters involve payment for damages or expenses resulting from an injury. Let’s say, you accidentally stepped on the accelerator rather than the brakes which caused damages to a nearby flower shop.

In this case, the matter involves criminal and civil aspects. The latter consists of the compensation for the damages caused resulting from your negligence as a driver.

If either the parties are not satisfied with the decision of the lower court, say the Magistrate Court, they can appeal the decision to the District or Supreme Court. However, the decisions of the Supreme Court are deemed final and executory

Children’s Court Appeal Cases

Children’s Court cases pertain to matters that affect the care and protection of minors or those who are not capacitated to care for themselves. This may include guardianship, parental capacity, and provisions of support services.

For example, in guardianship cases, when the losing parent or person claiming guardianship believes that the decision granting the other party guardianship is not proper, he or she can file an appeal to a higher court like the District or Supreme Court.

Coroner’s Court Appeal Cases

Cases appealing the Coroner’s Court’s decision about reportable deaths with unusual circumstances can be filed with the Supreme Court. The main objective of these cases is to investigate the details and important information circumventing the death of an unidentified person.

The case focuses on determining the circumstances that lead to the unusual death of the person in custody of the authority. It is not filed to put blame on people but to provide recommendations that can help prevent similar cases in the future.

Murri Court Appeal Cases

Cases relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural disputes and support services are heard in the Murri Court. These cases are designed to help the defendants make better choices for their lives. Filing of these cases also helps prevent offending the defendant based on his or her cultural belief.

In most cases, the defendants are accompanied by the respected persons and elderlies of their communities. They help bridge that gap between the Murri Court and the defendants making the former better understand the personal and cultural circumstances involved in the case. Any appeals can be filed to the Supreme Court.

Land Appeal Court Cases

These are appeal cases against Land Court decisions made under the Land Court Act 2000. In some instances, this may also include appeals from decisions resulting from compensation disputes involving the Mineral Resources Act 1989.

If the Land Court, however, made a recommendation as to the final outcome of the case under the Mineral Resources Act 1989 or other related laws, you cannot file an appeal to the Land Appeal Court.

Note that a recommendation is different from a final judgment. And if you feel that the recommendation is not so favorable to you, you may apply for a review to the Supreme Court under the Judicial Review Act 1991.

Court of Appeals Cases

Civil appeal cases filed in the Court of Appeals is similar to review proceedings in land cases. The Court of Appeals will review any procedural mishap during the trial proceedings in the lower courts.

In most cases, they will not deal with the matters or facts involved in the case, but how the case was handled by the lower courts. Thus, procedural review in nature.

If you are faced with a civil undertaking, it helps to seek the help of reliable lawyers specializing in these types of cases. When your civil case is in conjunction with a criminal charge, remember to ask for legal advice from a reputable criminal defense team.

Contact Smith Criminal Law to learn more!