The Tribunal employs a Principal Registrar, registrars and administrative staff to support its operation. The Tribunal funds a full time registrar position at the following metropolitan and regional venues of the Magistrates’ Court: Ballarat, Bendigo, Broadmeadows, Dandenong, Frankston, Geelong, Heidelberg, Latrobe Valley, Moorabbin, Ringwood, Shepparton and Sunshine.
At all other venues of the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria, the administration of the Tribunal is supported by registrars of the Magistrates’ Court. All staff supporting the operation of the Tribunal are accountable through their respective managers to the Chief Executive Officer of the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria.
The role of a registrar
Registrars perform an important role within the Tribunal, and undertake much of the preparatory work required in advance of an application for financial assistance being determined, working closely with Tribunal members.
Registrars provide advice and support to applicants in the course of lodging an application for financial assistance, preparing applications for determination, and in applying to vary an award of financial assistance.
The work undertaken by registrars includes obtaining and reading information provided by police regarding the circumstances of an alleged offence; obtaining and reading psychological reports; medical reports and hospital records; obtaining criminal history information and the outcome of criminal prosecutions; ensuring that appropriate documentation has been filed in support of an application for financial assistance (for example, that the statement of claim is correctly completed and supported by invoices, receipts or quotes); arranging for awards of financial assistance to be paid; and providing administrative support in relation to applications for the variation of awards.
Registrars also consider and determine applications for interim financial assistance. Following an increase in the amount of financial assistance that may be awarded by a registrar from $1,000 to $5,000 in September 2008, registrars now determine approximately 35% of all the applications for interim financial assistance that are made pending the final determination of an application for financial assistance.