Over the last few days, the NSW Government has announced the extension of lockdown arrangements to a number of regional areas as the delta COVID-19 variant spreads around the State.
As members have been advised in In Brief, the Local Court has recently extended the application of Chief Magistrate’s Memorandum No 20 to courts in the Hunter, Northern Tablelands, Far North Coast and Central West regions, providing for increased use of AVL appearances in these areas as well as in the Greater Sydney region.
Similarly, the Chief Judge of the District Court has announced restrictions on appearances in the District Court at Newcastle, Armidale, Lismore, Dubbo and Tamworth Courts for the time being, as well as courts in the Greater Sydney area, and these arrangements have also been communicated to members via In Brief.
The Family Court and Federal Circuit Court have also announced that telephone and online services are available only in the Lismore, Newcastle, Sydney, Parramatta and Wollongong registries.
Members are reminded of the Association’s Protocols for Remote and In Person Hearings, which are available on the Association’s COVID-19 webpage here.
In addition, members who are experiencing personal difficulties are reminded that BarCare, our confidential counselling service, is available to assist, and, where appropriate, applications to the Barristers Benevolent Fund are available.
Finally, I note that developments in regional NSW are unfolding quickly, and while we have good lines of communication with the courts and will provide updates as quickly as we can, members should also consider any local news reports that may affect their practices in those areas.
Please keep safe out there.
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