|Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency|
The Master of the Supreme Court was established under the provisions of the Master of the Supreme Court Act 1948 (No.5329) which amalgamated the functions of the Master in Equity (VA 2624) and the Chief Clerk of the Supreme Court of Victoria (VA 2549) into the one position. The Master of the Supreme Court is an officer of the Court, junior to judges, with partly judicial and partly administrative responsibilities.
The Master has been responsible for:
administering the granting of probate and administration of deceased estates where the grant was uncontested
assisting persons who desired to obtain probate or letters of administration in relation to the estates of deceased persons where the value did not exceed specified amounts
assisting in the general business of the Supreme Court
collecting, banking and investing monies received as Collector of Imposts and from other sources of revenue
investigating matters as directed by a Judge of the Supreme Court, including the examination of lunatic or infirm persons and their estates or property
supervising all appointed committees of lunatics ( individuals known as "committees" who were appointed by the Court to administer the estates of lunatics)
In 1956 amendments were made to the Supreme Court Rules which greatly increased the judicial functions of the Master and decreased the administrative functions in relation to probate and administration. These were subsequently assumed by the Registrar of Probate. In 1960 the Registrar ceased to receive direction from the Master and became a separate office (see VA 2620).
Since 1986 the Master of the Supreme Court has been known as the Senior Master and has had responsibility for supervising the work of other officers of the Supreme Court.
Location of Records
For records of the Master of the Supreme Court, see also List of Holdings 2nd edition 1985, sections 2.2.1 (Master in Equity) and 2.2.3 (Registrar of Probates).