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16 November 2021


Katherine Lockdown
The Katherine Court will be closed to the public from 16/11/2021 and at this stage opening on 23/11/2021. Stakeholders are reminded of the requirements to wear masks at all times.
Bail, Summons and Notice to Appear Matters:
Counsel will have leave to appear via video or telephone. Defendants may also appear via video or telephone if they wish. Adjournments will be granted, but managed to ensure lists are not over listed in the future.

Bail Conditions
In all matters where in chambers orders are made, bail will be continued on the same terms and conditions with any reporting conditions to be suspended until further order.

Persons in Custody
Both adult and youths are to appear from the prison or if in Katherine, a watch house. No defendants should be brought to the Court House.

Hearing Matters
These matters will generally be adjourned to a directions hearing list within 14 days to be allocated a new hearing date.

ADULT – Fresh Custody Matters
A Judge will be presiding over Katherine matters in person or via video to deal with first mention custody matters. Police seeking bail reviews during work hours should continue to contact Chambers at first instance as per normal practice.
All counsel, prosecutors and defence have leave to appear via video or telephone.

YOUTH – Fresh Custody Matters
A Judge will manage the Youth Court for any fresh custody or relist custody requests.
All counsel, prosecutors and defence have leave to appear via video or telephone.

Care and Protection
Where lockdown includes a care and protection list, the list will proceed by video or telephone from the Children’s Court in Darwin (TCG). Parents are excused from attending, but may attend via video or telephone. Counsel have Leave to appear via video or telephone. For all care and protection matters please contact in the first instance:
Katherine.LocalCourt [at] nt.gov.au

Urgent Domestic Violence Orders
Urgent domestic violence orders will be dealt with by the sitting Judge. Applicants and defendants may appear via telephone, counsel by video or telephone. For all domestic violence matters please contact:
Katherine.LocalCourt [at] nt.gov.au

Court House Notices
A notice will be placed on the Court House doors advising anyone who arrives of the above arrangements. The contact numbers for legal aid services will be included in the notice to assist any persons.

Circuit Courts
Circuit Court out of Katherine; being Lajamanu is cancelled.
All matters will be managed from Katherine on Wednesday, 17 November 2021 to adjourn to a suitable date. All counsel have leave to appear via video or telephone.
Matters listed on Tuesday, 16 November 2021 will be mentioned on Wednesday, 17 November 2021.

On Country Bail Applications
On country bail applications will continue for all people refused telephone bail by a Local Court Judge in the Katherine region only until Tuesday, 23 November 2021.

This means that after telephone bail refusal, a defendant will remain in custody at the police station for their first appearance in the nearest Court by phone, or if available video.

However there may be instances where people in custody cannot be accommodated, even for a short period (e.g. major community unrest, large numbers exceeding cell capacity, insufficient staff). The Police Officer facilitating the bail application should bring this to the attention of the on-call Judge, who will have the discretion to authorise transfer to Darwin or Katherine Court.

Young people in custody may be dealt with on a case by case basis, with the preferred first option being to remain at the police station. However, it is acknowledged that some police stations may not have the capacity to appropriately keep young people for any length of time.

Key Contacts
Please note that the Registrars of the various locations will update stakeholders with daily information in relation to staffing and contacts. If there are any issues or you wish to raise a practical matter with the lockdown procedure, please see the below contacts:

Darwin Contacts
Chief Judge Elizabeth Morris: DLC.Chambers [at] nt.gov.au
Principal Registrar & Director (North): Danielle.Hutchison [at] nt.gov.au

Katherine Contact:
Registrar Katherine: Katherine.LocalCourt [at] nt.gov.au