The Courts have been closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and preparing for any potential impacts on services.

The Supreme Court and the County Court have decided to suspend all new jury trials from Monday, 16 March until further notice.

This means that the jury empanelment process, in which hundreds of potential jurors gather at Court, will not take place until further notice.

This precautionary decision was made after consideration of the latest expert health and government advice and recognises that members of the community may hold concerns about attending Court in large groups.

This suspension does not apply to trials in which the jury has already been empanelled, which will continue as usual.

All Victorian Courts and VCAT will continue to hear other matters as usual unless otherwise advised.

Juries Victoria is in the process of contacting people who have received a summons to attend for jury service on Monday to advise they should not attend Court.

The Courts are developing plans to minimise the disruption during this period and exploring alternative methods of managing the jury process. We will provide further information on these plans as they develop.

The Courts acknowledge this is an unprecedented decision and we are confident it is in the best interests of the Victorian community.

 

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Published on 15 March 2020