The Governor of South Australia appoints judicial officers on the recommendations of the Attorney-General.

Magistrate appointments

Magistrates preside over criminal, civil and youth matters in Adelaide and in various key locations around the state, including:

  • Christies Beach
  • Elizabeth
  • Port Adelaide
  • Berri
  • Mount Gambier
  • Port Augusta
  • Whyalla.

Additional regional locations are serviced by Magistrates on circuit.

Magistrates are highly trusted members of our community and play an important role in making sure everyone has access to a fair justice system.

Magistrates can be appointed as either full-time or part-time.


To be eligible for a magistrate position, you must be a legal practitioner of at least 5 years' standing.

You must also submit:

  • a current CV
  • an application letter addressing the selection criteria
  • a criminal history check
  • a declaration of understanding
  • the names of three referees.

Applicants must address the following selection criteria in their applications.

Intellectual capacity

  • An appropriate knowledge of the relevant law and its underlying principles
  • Litigation experience or familiarity with court processes, including alternative dispute resolution
  • An ability to quickly absorb and analyse information
  • A commitment to continuous learning and professional development
  • Excellent writing skills.

Personal qualities

  • Integrity and independence of mind
  • Sound judgement and common sense
  • Decisiveness
  • Hard-work and diligence
  • Collegiality
  • An ability to adapt to change
  • Respectful personal working behaviour
  • Insightfulness.

An ability to understand and deal fairly

  • Willingness to listen with patience and courtesy
  • Open-mindedness and impartiality
  • Aware and respectful of diversity
  • A commitment to respect all court users
  • An understanding of the risk of unconscious bias.

Authority and communication skills

  • Effective oral and written communication skills
  • An ability to explain the procedure and any decisions reached clearly and succinctly to all involved
  • An ability to exercise authority calmly and professionally, particularly when challenged.


  • An ability to work at speed and under pressure
  • An ability to organise time effectively to deliver judgements and sentencing remarks in a timely manner
  • An ability to work constructively and collaboratively with others in the court.

Information technology

  • A high level of competence and confidence in the use of computer technology
  • A willingness to learn and master new IT skills.

Magistrates and judges are some of the most highly trusted roles in our community. It is important that the people in these roles reflect a high level of integrity. You will need to answer the following:

  • Have you ever had a successful professional indemnity insurance claim lodged against you?
  • Have you ever been disciplined or sanctioned by the:
    • Supreme Court
    • Legal Profession Conduct Commissioner
    • Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal
    • other professional association or body?
  • Are you aware of any current outstanding complaints or investigations against you?
  • Have you been advised by the Law Society of any formal complaint brought against you?
  • Have you ever been found guilty of a criminal or other offence?
  • Are you currently defending criminal charges that are yet to be determined?
  • Is there anything in your past or present which could reflect negatively on yourself or the judiciary?

If you answered yes to any of these, provide full details and any relevant documentation.

Applicants must include a declaration stating that they understand they are required to:

  • participate in an after-hours phone roster
  • serve at a country location for a period.

Magistrates are currently required to perform country service for 2 years at either Port Augusta, Mount Gambier or Berri.

You can volunteer to undertake country service before your rostered time. Provide details of your plans to undertake country service, including the time and location you will volunteer.