The law governing bankruptcy is contained in the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth). As this is a Commonwealth Act, it applies throughout Australia. The government agency responsible for administering the legislation is the Australian Financial Security Authority (formerly ITSA).
The Federal Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court have the power to hear and decide bankruptcy cases. The Federal Court may also alter its orders under the Act and may annul sequestration orders (the orders which take the control of property away from the bankrupt).
The Federal Circuit Court has concurrent jurisdiction with the Federal Court of Australia under the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth). The only exception is the ability to have trials with a jury under s 30(3) of the Act, and that power is limited to the Federal Court. The Federal Circuit Court has power to transfer bankruptcy proceedings to the Federal Court of Australia.
The Family Court and Federal Circuit Court have jurisdiction in any matter related to the bankruptcy of a party in proceedings for property settlement or spousal maintenance (see Applying for property settlement).
Appeals from a single judge of the Federal Court are heard by the Full Court of the Federal Court.
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.