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7 August 2020

Some changes made to Local Court procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic have improved services and will remain, despite the court resuming more normal services following a relaxation of restrictions associated with the coronavirus.

On May 18 the courts began to relax some restrictions that were in place as a result of the pandemic, with cells reopening in Darwin, Katherine and Alice Springs and physical court appearances reinstituted.

Tennant Creek Court resumed operations on June first and on July 1 non-custody hearings recommenced and the court once again began hearing cases in remote communities.

Some changes initiated as part of the response to COVID-19 however have worked well and will be maintained.

E-filing of civil matters has become the norm and will continue and Consent applications will continue to be heard in chambers and during call-overs.

Virtual appearance slips will also remain.

Bail applications for those in remote communities will continue to be heard on-country, without the need for defendants to travel to a major centre.

To ensure the safety of all court users physical distancing rules of four square metres per person and 1.5 metres between people will be maintained in all court facilities.

Local Court Resumed Services Plan