This page outlines changes to the Common Law Division's case management processes and procedures introduced in response to coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Court encourages users to review this page regularly as the information may change.
Last updated 17 August.

The Supreme Court of Victoria is changing the way it operates in response to the coronavirus (COVID 19) pandemic.

To ensure the Court can continue to deliver core and vital services during the pandemic, the Common Law Division has introduced changes to its case management processes and procedures.  These changes include:

  • Trials that would have been heard before a jury will now proceed before a judge sitting alone, unless a judge adjourns the proceeding.
  • Trials and all other hearings will be heard using remote telephone or videoconferencing facilities for parties, counsel and witnesses unless a judge directs otherwise. Regional circuit trials will follow the same approach.
  • Parties will be contacted by the case management team ahead of all hearings to provide information relevant to their conduct.  
  • Whether and how a matter is heard will be determined by the allocated judicial officer.
  • Electronic court books will be required.
  • Judgments will be delivered without parties’ attendance.

The Court has published a number of guides and information sheets concerning virtual hearings which can be accessed via the Virtual Hearings page. Parties are encouraged to read this information prior to the hearing


Changes in relation to specific specialist lists and the Practice Court are set out below.
 

Practice Court

All Practice Court matters will default to being dealt with on the papers and, in addition to the usual initiating documents being filed, all parties will be required to file short written submissions in support of their relative positions, incorporating references to principal authorities relied upon.

If either party considers that the application is not suitable for determination on the papers and that an oral hearing is necessary, their submissions must explain the requirement for an appearance and the urgency of the oral hearing. The Court will then determine whether the hearing will proceed and in what manner.

For further information concerning Practice Court procedures please consult the SCV Notice to the Profession - Practice Court.

Civil Circuit, Institutional Liability and Personal Injuries Lists

First and ad hoc directions

First and ad hoc directions hearings will be conducted on the papers unless a judicial officer determines otherwise.

Post mediation directions hearings

Post mediation directions will be conducted as a virtual hearing unless otherwise advised.

Interlocutory Applications

Interlocutory applications will be conducted as a virtual hearing unless otherwise advised.  Alternatively, the Court or the parties may suggest that the matter be dealt with on the papers based on submissions and affidavit material. 

Final directions

Final directions hearings and call-overs will be conducted as a virtual hearing unless otherwise advised.

Dust Diseases List

As per Civil Circuit, Institutional Liability and Personal Injuries Lists above with the following additions.

Pre-Trial Conferences

Pre-Trial Conferences will be conducted as a virtual hearing.

Order 41 Examinations

Practitioners should continue to contact the Judicial Services Manager ( nyrggr.eraavr@fhcpbheg.ivp.tbi.nhua.vog.civ.truocpus@einner.ettela )  to arrange an Order 41 examination which will be conducted as a virtual hearing.

Major Torts and Professional Liability Lists

First directions, post mediation directions, ad hoc directions and applications

Parties are expected to confer for the purpose of negotiating the relevant orders and to provide minutes of proposed consent orders. If parties cannot agree on the substance of the orders, they are to provide the Court with details of the scope of the dispute and brief reasons for their respective positions. It is anticipated that orders will then be made on the papers but in the event a hearing is required, it will be conducted as a virtual hearing.

Parties are referred to the standard orders available on the Major Torts and Professional Liability Lists’ webpages. 

Interlocutory Applications

Interlocutory applications will be conducted as a virtual hearing. Alternatively, parties may request that the matter be dealt with on the papers on the basis of submissions and affidavit material. 

Property List

First Directions, Post Mediation  Directions, Ad Hoc Directions and Final Directions

Parties are expected to confer for the purpose of negotiating the relevant orders and to provide minutes of proposed consent orders. If parties cannot agree on the substance of the orders, they are to provide the Court with details of the scope of the dispute and brief reasons for their respective positions. It is anticipated that orders will then be made on the papers but in the event a hearing is required, it will be conducted as a virtual hearing.
 

Interlocutory applications

Any urgent interlocutory applications should be made to the Practice Court. 


All other interlocutory applications will be conducted as a virtual hearing unless otherwise advised.  Alternatively, parties may request that the matter be dealt with on the papers on the basis of submissions and affidavit material.
 

Confiscation and Proceeds of Crime, Employment and Industrial, Judicial Review and Appeals, Testators Family Maintenance, Trusts, Equity and Probate and Valuation Compensation and Planning Lists

Parties are expected to confer for the purpose of reaching agreement about proposed orders and provide minutes of proposed consent orders to the relevant list email address.  

In the event parties are unable to reach a consent position in respect of directions or an interlocutory application, the matter will be conducted as a virtual hearing and the Court will be in contact prior to the hearing with details of how to participate.  

Alternatively, parties may request that case management disputes or interlocutory applications be dealt with on the papers on the basis of submissions and affidavit material.  

If any party to the proceeding is a prisoner and a videolink is required, please advise the Court promptly.
 

Author
Supreme Court of Victoria
Publisher
Supreme Court of Victoria
Date of publication