Reporting court matters

The Magistrates’ Court of Victoria is committed to working with media to help the public understand Victoria’s justice system and to make the work of the court as open and transparent as possible, within the confines of governing legislation and the principle of judicial discretion.

Our objectives are to:

  • promote transparency of proceedings and the principle of open justice
  • facilitate fair and accurate reporting of matters before the court
  • communicate with the public and develop community understanding of the work of the court.

Magistrates’ Court hearings are generally open to the public and may be reported in full. In some cases it may be necessary for the presiding judicial officer to make orders limiting the access of the public and the media to a court, or to material that is put before the court. This is to ensure hearings are conducted according to law and without disruption.

The interests of justice may require that information and/or documentation not be published or be prohibited from disclosure.

If a Suppression Order is made, a copy will be emailed to media outlets as soon as possible.  If you wish to be included on the email list, please contact media@magistratescourt.vic.gov.au or phone 03 9032 0919.

The Media team can provide journalists with general information such as case numbers, hearing dates and plea information where available, unless orders to the contrary are in place.

They can’t provide information from a court file, including charges, statements or tendered materials.

Further information on how media can apply to access documents from the court file is contained on the page Access to charges, documents and sentence information