The following update is from the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria and Chair of Courts Council, Anne Ferguson, on behalf of the Victorian courts and VCAT.
This news article may contain information that has since been updated or revised. To view current changes to Court operations related to COVID-19 visit the coronavirus information page.
The Victorian courts and Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) will again implement their contingency plans in response to the restrictions announced yesterday to address the localised outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Chief Justice Anne Ferguson said the courts and VCAT would revert back to the arrangements during the May and July circuit breaker restrictions.
“This is our working reality in Victoria for the time being, and it’s very important that the courts and VCAT continue to do what we can to help reduce the spread of COVID-19,” Chief Justice Ferguson said.
“As we have many times before, we will continue to operate in line with the public health advice in a way that minimises potential disruption.”
Chief Justice Ferguson said matters would be held in person only where it is not practicable for them to be held remotely and it is essential that they proceed. The courts and VCAT will continue to hear as many matters as possible remotely. Some matters may be adjourned for a period of time.
Jury trials which are already underway will continue, following COVID-safe plans, although a few may be adjourned. No new criminal jury trials will begin until restrictions ease.
“These are unpredictable times and I continue to be deeply grateful to all who work in, with and around the courts and VCAT for their goodwill and willingness to adapt,” Chief Justice Ferguson said.
Please check the websites of each jurisdiction for jurisdiction-specific changes.