The Federal Court of Australia, created by the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976, began to exercise its jurisdiction on 1 February 1977. It assumed jurisdiction formerly exercised in part by the High Court of Australia and the whole of the jurisdiction of the Australian Industrial Court and of the Federal Court of Bankruptcy
The Court is an independent federal court under the Australian Constitution. It is a federal court of record and a court of law and equity. Under section 8 of the FM Act the Court is constituted by the Chief Federal Magistrate and federal magistrates as appointed. Federal magistrates are appointed under the Act as justices in accordance with Chapter III of the Australian Constitution.