Variations to procedures in the Supreme Court


The Bar Association has this morning received a communication from the Chief Justice of NSW, the Hon T F Bathurst AC, regarding variations to procedures in the Supreme Court.

The Chief Justice has advised that although difficulties still remain with the use of the Court’s audio visual technology, ongoing improvements are being made to the system, including an increase in server capacity for remote matters.

To ease pressure on the system the Chief Justice has proposed that from next week, cases will be listed on a staggered basis, from an earliest start time of 8:00 AM and the latest finishing time of 6:00 PM. In setting down these matters the Court will of course take into account the personal circumstances of the practitioner. This arrangement is expected to further alleviate pressure on the Court’s system, particularly on days on which List Judges are calling-over matters. The Chief Justice urges practitioners appearing in those lists to use a telephone facility rather than the audio visual link.

The Chief Justice advises that all Judges of the Supreme Court now have the capacity to hear cases using Microsoft Teams as an alternative to the Court’s audio visual link. The Court is taking steps to ensure that judges and their associates are fully familiar with the operation of that system, and it is intended that the Court will provide a specific protocol as to its operation. The Court’s intention is to use the Microsoft Teams facility when it is requested by the parties, although the existing Court system will remain the default position for remote matters.

The Chief Justice has also indicated that the Court has no objection to parties using external technology providers if they wish to do so, however that in such cases the Court is not in a position to bear the financial cost associated with the use of such alternative providers. Members will be kept informed of further developments.

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