Magellan List

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The Magellan List is a case management pathway, designed to ensure that the cases which involve the most vulnerable children and are very resource intensive, are dealt with as effectively and efficiently as possible. These matters are identified as being appropriate for early transfer and listing in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1).

The Magellan List provides a tightly managed approach with a multi-disciplinary team of Judges, Registrars and Court Child Experts who manage cases from start to finish.

For inclusion in to the Magellan List a matter must involve recent (generally within 12 months but subject to discretion) notifications or allegations of:

  1. sexual abuse of a child; and/or
  2. serious physical abuse of a child; and/or
  3. fresh allegations of historical abuse of a child which had never previously been disclosed; and/or
  4. activity by a party to the proceedings or a relevant adult (such as a step parent or relative) which:
    1. poses a risk of direct or indirect sexual abuse to the child, including activity directed towards children who are the subject of the proceedings or any other child/ren; and/or
    2. involves an allegation, charge or conviction for offences related to the production, possession and distribution of Child Exploitation Material (CEM), whether or not the images relate to children the subject of the proceedings; and/or
  5. serious or escalating physical abuse of a subject child of the proceedings. 

In order to be listed as a Magellan matter, the allegations of child abuse must not have been determined in the Court’s jurisdiction previously and must involve recent disclosures or allegations of sexual abuse and/or serious physical abuse of a child in circumstances where the Court is required to intervene to protect the child.

The application, however, can be an existing application before the Court where the allegations are raised later in proceedings.

A matter is not precluded from inclusion in the Magellan List if the Application/Response also seeks property orders.

A Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence and Risk containing allegations of sexual abuse and/or serious physical abuse of a child is considered the 'trigger' document for a matter to be considered for inclusion in the Magellan List. 

Matters identified as meeting the Magellan List criteria may be referred for consideration by the Magellan Judicial Registrar for inclusion on the Magellan List. This can occur on, or prior to, the First Return Date or at any time during the proceedings when relevant allegations arise.  The Magellan Registrar needs to be satisfied that the matter is appropriate for inclusion in the list and, if satisfied, make the transfer order and then make an order (in Division 1) including the matter in the Magellan List.

If allegations of sexual abuse or serious physical abuse of a child are made and those allegations are not contained in the Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence and Risk, the party making the allegation should be directed to file a fresh Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence and Risk.

The Magellan Lists operate in the following registries:

  1. Melbourne
  2. Sydney
  3. Newcastle
  4. Parramatta
  5. Brisbane
  6. Canberra
  7. Adelaide
  8. Hobart/Launceston
  9. Dandenong
  10. Cairns
  11. Rockhampton
  12. Townsville
  13. Darwin
  14. Wollongong
  15. Lismore
  16. Coffs Harbour
  17. Albury