Department of the Attorney General

Department of the Attorney General
Law Compass

The legal system

As a citizen of Western Australia there are certain legal responsibilities that you must uphold. You should also know your rights according to law. Understanding the legal system, and how it works, will help you when faced with a legal situation.

The WA court system

Courts in Western Australia are administered by the Department of the Attorney General. The judiciary presides over the courts and delivers justice to the community through sentencing in criminal cases and rulings in civil cases. The judiciary - which includes all judges and magistrates - is the third, independent arm of government.

Court procedures for offenders

When a person commits a ‘criminal’ crime they will be charged by police and a court date will be set for that person to be tried by law. In civil cases, a person will often seek advice from a solicitor about a legal problem, dispute or complaint.


Bail is a written promise a person makes to go to court on a certain day and at a particular time.


Witnesses play a critical role in the Western Australian justice system.

WA State Law Publisher

Free online access to acts, bills, regulations, gazettes and other official publications.

Law Almanac

The WA Law Almanac contains judicial and other appointments to the various WA courts, tribunals and statutory offices related to the administration of law in the state. The Law Almanac also contains a directory of Certificated Legal Practitioners and a Roll of Practitioners.


The Sentencing Act 1995 provides a wide and effective range of sentencing options for the courts.

Francis Burt Law Education Program

The FBLEP provides a legal-education programs for school and community groups. Visits to courthouses including the Supreme, District and Magistrates courts can be arranged.

The Australian court system

The Australian court system is based on an adversarial model, which is derived from English courts. This means that each party brings their case to the judge and the judge decides the outcome based on the facts presented according to the law.