General federal law FAQs

Below you’ll find answers to our most common enquiries.

'General federal law' is a term used to describe the Court's other jurisdiction outside of family law.

The Court’s general federal law jurisdiction includes: administrative law, admiralty law, bankruptcy, consumer law (formerly trade practices), human rights, industrial (fair work), intellectual property and privacy.

The Court shares this jurisdiction with the Federal Court of Australia and in some cases state courts.

Depending on the type of issue/s, there are a number of ways to attempt to resolve your dispute before coming to court. For more information see Avoiding court.

If you can’t resolve your dispute, the Court has a Fair Work small claims process which is more informal, usually conducted without lawyers and aims to settle disputes quickly and fairly, with minimum expense to the parties.

For more information see Fair Work.

A bankruptcy notice is an important document. Failure to comply with the notice or to apply to the Court to set it aside will entitle a creditor to present a creditor’s petition for an order that you (the debtor) be made a bankrupt.

If you want to apply to the Court to have the bankruptcy notice set aside or to extend time for compliance with the bankruptcy notice, you must file your application within 21 days of the date of service of the Notice.

For more information including how to apply see Bankruptcy.

When you have completed all the forms required for your application type and you are ready to file, you should use the Court’s electronic filing platform for general federal law, eLodgment.

First you must register for an eLodgment account which may take up to 24 hours to complete. If your registration request is urgent, contact the Court by using the Live chat service on this page.

Once your registration has been accepted, you will be able to file your application online.

You will need to pay the filing fee to the Court when you file the application. In some circumstances, you may be exempted from paying court fees or a reduced fee may apply. There are different requirements for general exemptions or financial hardship.

If for some reason you cannot file online, you may be able to file your documents by email. To discuss alternate filing options please complete the enquiry form.

You can access details about your matter, including any upcoming hearing dates, from the Commonwealth Courts Portal.

If you already have access to your file on the Portal:

  1. go to your Available Files
  2. click on your file number
  3. click on the relevant application in your file, and
  4. select Court Events and Orders. This section will show you the time and date of any upcoming or past hearings, along with any orders that have been made for your matter.

If you are registered for the Portal but not linked to your file please complete the enquiry form.

For a step-by-step guide to registering and using the Portal see, How do I register for the Commonwealth Courts Portal?

The Court also publish daily court lists where you can check the details for your matter.

There are different types of hearing at different stages of you matter. For a brief overview see General federal law: Hearing types.

Court is a formal place, for information on the etiquette required and some tips on how to prepare for attending the Court in person, see Etiquette and tips. For online hearings see Electronic hearings.

If you do not have a lawyer representing you, see Representing myself.

For information about the support that may be available at court see Court support.

If you are a party in a general federal law matter you or your lawyer can view the court file from the Commonwealth Courts Portal.

If you are not a party to the matter or are a media representative (non-party), subject to any order or direction of the Court and certain exceptions, you may request to inspect ‘unrestricted’ general federal law and/or migration court documents.

It is important you read the information about making a Non-party request to inspect a general federal law or migration file before filing a request. Fees are payable for the request and photocopying.

For information about public case search (for non-parties) visit Federal Law Search, which provides selected publicly available information on cases filed in the:

  • General federal law jurisdiction of this Court, and the
  • Federal Court of Australia.

Haven’t found the answers you’re looking for?

Submit your enquiry OR Live chat

If your matter is urgent or requires time critical intervention, please call us on 1300 720 980.