COVID-19 and Australian courts and legal bodies updates: 25 May

Here are the latest updates from Australia’s courts and legal bodies as the coronavirus pandemic continues

COVID-19 and Australian courts and legal bodies updates: 25 May

More courts are beginning to seek a return to normal operations as restrictions ease. The latest protocols are as follows.

New South Wales
Supreme Court

Chief Justice Tom Bathurst announced on Thursday that in-person hearings for some civil cases would recommence on 1 June. Criminal jury trials are set to resume on 29 June.

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The court will continue to follow health and safety guidelines, including implementing staggered start and finish times for courtrooms, new processes for jury selection, temperature checks, social distancing and heightened sanitation.

Hearings will begin at 9am and end at 5pm.

District Court

Effective 1 June, limited in-person appearances will be permitted in line with the decision to reopen the district courts in Parramatta, Sydney and Newcastle.

The court outlined the guidelines for appearances here.

Queensland 
Supreme Court

The court has released a new protocol for hearings in the applications jurisdictions that comes into effect today.

Criminal jury trials will resume in June following the expected drop of COVID-19 restrictions to stage 2 on 12 June.

District Court

Beginning 22 June, one District Court judge will be listed to preside over trials in Brisbane.

Western Australia
Supreme Court and Court of Appeal

Chief Justice Peter Quinlan announced that in-person hearings would recommence for civil and criminal proceedings effective 15 May as COVID-19 restrictions in the state fell to level 2 on Monday.

Family Court

Effective 1 June, circuits will resume subject to suitable travel arrangements for judicial officers, court staff and family consultants.

Hearings and conferences continue to be listed as normal, but proceedings will be conducted by telephone where possible.

District Court

Civil proceedings will be listed as normal as of Friday. Trials may also be listed for immediate hearing.

South Australia
District Court

The court has proposed moving up the recommencement of jury trials in Adelaide from 1 August to the second week of July.

Australian Capital Territory
Magistrates’ Court

Effective 2 June, the court will resume normal operations, including in-person hearings.

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