President's Message


Protocol for Remote Hearings

The New South Wales Bar Association has finalised a Protocol for Remote Hearings for the benefit of its members and the Courts. The Protocol was developed by a diverse Sub-Committee comprised of members from a wide range of areas of practice and I would like to thank the Senior and Junior Vice-Presidents, Green SC, Callan, Welsh, O’Neil, Westgarth, Naylor and Hyde for their work in preparing it. The Protocol has been provided to the Chief Justice of NSW and has received his endorsement. The Protocol can be read here

The protocol may be updated in the light of further developments and members will be kept informed in this regard.

I expect that a further protocol document regarding in person hearings will be finalised shortly and provided to members next week.

As I mentioned in my President’s Message from last Friday, it is apparent that the Courts are beginning to make plans to recommence some face-to-face in-court hearings in some matters in the not too distant future and members will be kept informed of further developments.

COVID-19 related developments in commercial law and practice

The Commercial Law Section has prepared very helpful notes on various COVID-19-related decisions that have come out and other developments that are relevant to commercial practice.

The document summarises recent legislative and judicial developments relevant to commercial practice in light of challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. It does not constitute legal advice and readers should undertake their own research and seek up to date advice relevant to their particular circumstances.

I would like to thank Michael Izzo SC, the Convenor of the Commercial Law Section, for his work on this important document. The document can be found here.

Amendment to Chief Magistrate’s Memorandum 10 - Preliminary Arrangements for return to Normal Sitting Arrangements in the Local Court

Yesterday’s In Brief note regarding COVID-19: Information for attending Court included Chief Magistrate’s Memorandum 10 - Preliminary Arrangements for return to Normal Sitting Arrangements. The Chief Magistrate has today advised the Association of a clarification regarding the Memorandum. The heading immediately preceding paragraphs 1-9 of the memorandum has been amended to read “Arrangements for finalisation of sentencing in criminal matters involving custody considerations”. The amended Memorandum can be accessed here

COVID-19:Information for attending Court

The New South Wales Bar Association’s consolidated guide to COVID-19-related court arrangements has today again been updated in terms of recent developments.

Members are advised in this regard that, although the Bar Association is regularly updating the COVID-19 page of its website as information comes to hand, please refer to 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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