High Court of Australia
Public counters are closed, and face-to-face services are permitted only in urgent circumstances following an initial assessment by telephone, according to the website of the attorney-general’s department. Further updates: https://www.hcourt.gov.au/
The registries will only offer services online and via phone.Where possible, telephone and AVL are being utilised, and applications are being made on the papers. Further updates: https://www.fedcourt.gov.au/covid19/covid-19#content
Family Court of Australia
The Family Court is conducting urgent applications and other hearings, including those on the National COVID-19 List, remotely via telephone or Microsoft Teams in areas affected by the pandemic. In the event that in-person appearances are necessary, the court will require the bare minimum of attendants at the registry and in the courtroom.
“The courts continue to provide access to justice in a timely and responsive way whilst balancing this against the public health directions and necessary restrictions to protect our staff and our community,” Chief Justice Will Alstergren said in a 20 August update. “Families can be reassured to know that they are not alone and if they cannot resolve their disputes independently, they should seek help from the many support services that are available, or contact the courts which are open and here to assist.”
Further updates: https://www.fcfcoa.gov.au/news-and-media-centre/covid-19
Supreme Court and District Court
The courts continue to hear matters in areas under lockdown subject to medical advice. Where possible, telephone and AVL are being utilised, and applications are being made on the papers. Only necessary people allowed to attend in person.
While applications may be made for judge-alone trials, only jury trials that are already in process are being held. Sentence hearings are being conducted via AVL except in cases where prisoners are on bail.
Court of Appeal
Matters are being heard as usual, although call overs are suspended until further notice. Nonetheless, lawyers who have problems with conducting proceedings may coordinate with the registry to make more suitable arrangements.
Matters continue to be heard subject to the presiding judge’s direction.
Attendances are still required, subject to the health and safety warnings issued by the state government. Practice directions are issued regularly – please visit https://www.qcat.qld.gov.au/about-qcat/covid-19
Fair Work Commission
All conciliations and mediations are being held by phone conference; moreover, hearings and conferences are being conducted by phone or videoconference where possible. Those cases not suitable to be held remotely have been temporarily postponed. https://www.fwc.gov.au/about-us/coronavirus-covid-19-information