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Supreme Court changes in response to COVID-19

To ensure the Court can continue to deliver core and vital services during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Court has introduced a suite of changes to its processes and procedures.

See the changes in relation to the case management processes and procedures for this List.

Proceedings suitable for inclusion in the Institutional Liability List are those involving:

  • Claims against an organisation founded on the death or personal injury of a person as a result of alleged physical or sexual abuse of a minor.
  • Claims for breach of the duty of care imposed by s 91 of the Wrongs Act 1958 (Vic).
  • Applications to set aside a previous judgment or settlement agreement pursuant to ss 27QB or 27QD of the Limitation of Actions Act 1958 (Vic) prior to the commencement of a proceeding on an action referred to in s 27QA of that Act.
  • Claims against an educational organisation arising out of the death or personal injury of a student of that organisation as a result of physical, sexual or psychological abuse by a fellow student or individual employed or associated with that organisation.

Judges in charge

The Honourable Justice Forbes
The Honourable Justice O'Meara

Judicial registrar

Judicial Registrar Baker

Self-represented litigants will find useful information about the Court's processes in the Representing Yourself section.

Management of proceedings in the Institutional Liability List is in accordance with Practice Note SC CL 3 Personal Injuries List (Second revision).

A team of lawyers assists the judicial officers with the management of proceedings in the Institutional Liability List. They perform a range of tasks including: review of pleadings and other material; assessment of proposed consent orders; preparation of matters ahead of hearings; and liaison with parties.

First directions hearing

After the filing of the first defence, the Court will list a first directions hearing for the purpose of setting an interlocutory timetable and in most cases, a trial date.

Parties are encouraged to seek consent orders ‘on the papers’ ahead of the first directions hearing using the Request for consent orders first directions. Signed pdf and Word versions of the proposed order should be emailed to vafgvghghgvbany.yvnovyvgl@fhcpbheg.ivp.tbi.nhua.vog.civ.truocpus@ytilibail.lanoitututitsni .

Parties should also consider the necessity for the determination of any preliminary issues prior to trial and include a date in the timetable by which any application for the determination of such issue is to be made. For example, to set aside a previous judgment or settlement agreement, or that the proceeding should be permanently stayed.

Interlocutory applications

Interlocutory applications including those for a new trial date, should be made on summons. Where an application is expected to exceed two hours, it may be listed as a special fixture, or in the first instance, for directions.

A return date is required before an interlocutory application may be filed. Parties may obtain a return date by sending a completed interlocutory application information form via email to vafgvghgvbany.yvnovyvgl@fhcpbheg.ivp.tbi.nhua.vog.civ.truocpus@ytilibail.lanoitutitsni .

Post-mediation directions and final directions

All proceedings will be listed for a post-mediation directions hearing two to three weeks after the date mediation has been ordered to have occurred, and a final directions hearing approximately four weeks before the trial date. Attendance at these directions hearings is compulsory.

All persons appearing at these hearings must have a good working knowledge of the matter and be in a position to advise the Court on its progress and readiness for trial.

Parties are reminded of the requirement to order transcript for trials and should consider the requirements for ordering transcript contained in Practice Note SC GEN 7 Transcript in Civil Proceedings (Second revision).

Date of judgment Judgments and judgment summaries
22 December 2021

DP (a pseudonym) v Bishop Bird [2021] VSC 850 (22 December 2021) 

Ruling concerning the vicarious liability of the Diocese in relation to historical abuse.

1 September 2021

DP (a pseudonym) v Bishop Bird (Ruling No 2) [2021] VSC 540 (31 August 2021)

Ruling concerning admissibility of previous judgments or decisions.

12 July 2021

Martin Richardson (a pseudonym) v State of Victoria [2021] VSC 403

Ruling concerning an application by defendant to join third party out of time. Finding that if leave is granted that the plaintiff will suffer irreparable prejudice.

18 June 2021

Villan v State of Victoria [2021] VSC 354

Ruling concerning privilege against self-incrimination and whether it is in the interests of justice to require witness to give evidenceEvidence Act 2008 (Vic) s 128(4)(b).

18 December 2020


Roman Catholic Trusts Corporation for the Diocese of Sale v WCB [2020] VSCA 328

Appeal from Justice Keogh’s decision in WCB v Roman Catholic Trusts Corporation for the Diocese of Sale [2020] VSC 71 setting aside deed of settlement in respect of historical child abuse – appeal dismissed.

12 March 2021

Kelly v Trustees of the Christian Brothers & Anor [2021] VSC 110

Application by the First Defendant for stay of proceeding if the plaintiff does not submit to psychiatric assessment. The Court held that the First defendant’s request to subject the Plaintiff for such medicolegal examination is unreasonable. Application refused.  

9 June 2020

Di Cesare v Bird (Subpoena application) [2002] VSC 336

Ruling concerning failure to seek leave to subpoena confidential communications – Evidence (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1958 Div 2A – indemnity costs ordered. 

17 February 2020

Waks v Cyprys & Ors [2020] VSC 44

1 April 2020

Shuttleworth v Morris & Anor [2020] VSC 143 

Contribution from employee teacher to damages paid by school authority to a student as a result of sexual abuse.

29 May 2019 JCB v Bishop Paul Bird for the Diocese of Ballarat & Anor [2019] VSC 348


Communications in relation to the Institutional Liability List should be directed to vafgvghgvbany.yvnovyvgl@fhcpbheg.ivp.tbi.nhua.vog.civ.truocpus@ytilibail.lanoitutitsni  or 8600 2435.

Parties are reminded that any correspondence with the Court must be sent simultaneously to all other parties and must be confined to uncontroversial matters. For further information about communication with the Court, see par 6 of Practice Note SC GEN 4 Custom and Protocol.