Discussions with the Supreme Court

22/03/2020

COVID-19: A message from President Tim Game SC

First, today I have met with the Chief Justice and the Executive Director and Principal Registrar of the Supreme Court regarding procedures at that Court in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Court is committed to continuing with its current lists, with the exclusion of new jury trials which have been put on hold and there is no need at the moment to prioritise some matters over others.

The Court has confirmed the following points:

  • The Court continues to carefully monitor the health advice relating to coronavirus (COVID-19) to ensure the wellbeing of everyone within the court;

  • The Court strongly encourages practitioners to make use of the audio visual facilities available. Telephone conference facilities are available in all courtrooms and video conference facilities in a large number of courtrooms. The use of audio visual technology greatly reduces the need for practitioners to attend in person;

  • Practitioners will be contacted directly by the Court in relation to matters in the Registrars’ lists advising how to contact the court via audio visual means; and

  • Consistent with current health advice, all other matters, with the exception of new jury trials, are currently proceeding as listed. Practitioners should refer to the published list for updates and changes. Practitioners can approach the Court if the matter is suitable to be heard by audio visual link.

Information regarding Registrars’ and judicial lists are available on the Court’s website.

Second, a number of practitioners have advised me that they have, as suggested in my message from yesterday, raised COVID-19-related work health and safety issues involving the courts with judicial officers which have been treated appropriately by the bench. Members should continue to raise these issues with the Courts and bring them to the attention of the Association.

Included in my message from yesterday was the New South Wales Bar Association's consolidated guide to the various COVID-19-related Court arrangements in NSW and Federal Courts and Tribunals. The guide covers information for those attending court as well as up to date information on procedural changes being made in view of the coronavirus pandemic in the various jurisdictions. The guide has been updated in terms of recent developments and includes today's updates from:

Members are advised in this regard that, although the Association is regularly updating its website and this point-in-time resource as information comes to hand, please always double-check the latest Court resources directly as developments are changing quickly at this time. Do not make any assumptions regarding your case without first doing so. Links to the various Court and Tribunal pages are provided in the body of the guide.


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