The justice system can be a complex and confusing place for victims of crime. It's important to understand that the criminal justice system – specifically that the courts are part of a system that's concerned primarily with following a process that does not always translate into what the victim might view as "justice".
There are seven types of courts that deal with different matters. These are; Youth Court, Family Court, District Court, Disputes Tribunal, Coroner's Court, The Supreme Court and The Court of Appeal. The Courts Fact sheet provides a summary what cases each court deals with, and how. Each court except the Disputes Tribunal is presided over by a judge.
District Court... Conducts criminal and civil cases.
High Court... is for serious criminal cases, major civil cases and appeals from the Family Court.
Coroner's Court... is where the circumstances of a particular death are examined if the death has been violent, unnatural, without a known cause or a suicide.
Family Court... sorts out disputes for things like marriage dissolution, custody, access, and other child welfare issues.
Youth Court... deals with cases for people aged between 14 to 17 years who have been charged with a criminal offence. This court oversees the Family Group Conference (FGC) process (See FGC fact sheet).
Disputes Tribunal... is where civil disagreements can be resolved involving sums up to $15,000.
The Court of Appeal... is located in Wellington and hears cases from the High Court and District Court.
The Supreme Court... is located in Wellington and replaces the Privy Court based in London. This court hears appeals from the Court of Appeal.
For more information please refer to the Ministry of Justice website