President's Message


Further to yesterday's announcement from the Premier and Minister for Health regarding additional COVID-19 restrictions, the list of occupations allowed to go outside the south western Sydney council areas of Fairfield, Canterbury Bankstown and Liverpool has changed from only emergency and health workers to a wide range of roles defined under the latest Public Health (COVID-19 Temporary Movement and Gathering Restrictions) Order 2021, as 'authorised workers'.

There is now a published list of categories of workers authorised to travel outside of the Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool Local Government Areas if they reside in one of those areas. Workers can travel into those Local Government Areas.

Items on the list described as activities mean that workers involved in services for providing that activity are allowed to leave the local government area they live in if required for work.

The list of activities includes the administration of justice, including in relation to the operation of courts and tribunals, correctional centres and community corrections.

The Association has confirmed with the NSW Government that this means that a lawyer with a place of residence in the local government areas of the City of Fairfield, or the City of Liverpool, or Canterbury Bankstown, would be permitted to travel outside their local government area for work purposes as this falls within the list of workers authorised to travel outside of these areas - that is appearing or preparing to appear in courts and tribunals if such work cannot be done remotely. The list is available here.

Residents of the Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool Local Government Areas who are authorised to travel outside their LGA and do need to leave their LGA for work for a listed activity are required to be tested every three days, even if they do not have symptoms.

Practitioners for whom it is essential to travel outside of the three LGAs above should carry identification in order that they can present it if requested by police and should be vigilant with mask requirements.

Practitioners should make any necessary applications with the relevant courts if the latest restrictions mean that it is not in the interests of justice for the matter to proceed via AVL, bearing in mind that the health and safety of court users, including our members, must be paramount and all practitioners should practice and appear remotely if possible.

District Court

This afternoon, the District Court announced that there would be no in person appearances from Tuesday, as advised via In Brief earlier today.

Practitioners should bring to the attention of the Court, by application to adjourn if necessary, any impediments to matters proceeding remotely in a just and fair manner

Local Court

The Local Court of NSW has also today advised that the Department of Communities and Justice is assessing staffing levels at relevant courts due to COVID-19 concerns and this may affect the sitting capacity at some court locations.

Capacity may be affected at the following courts:

• Fairfield

• Bankstown

• Liverpool

• Parramatta

• Blacktown

• Penrith

• Mt Druitt

In the Local Court, any applications for adjournment, in particular in relation to those courts above should be made bearing in mind the reduced capacity of the courts, their need to deal with urgent matters, the likely limitations on court resources and the health and safety of court users including our members.

If you no longer wish to receive In Brief, please notify the Bar Association's