LOCAL COURT OF THE NORTHERN TERRITORY NOTICE TO LEGAL PRACTITIONERS, POLICE, CORRECTIONS AND COURT USERS REGARDING ALL CIRCUIT COURTS
On 4 February 2022, all sittings of the Northern Territory Local Court circuits were suspended until and including Tuesday, 19 April 2022 per Covid Notice 7/2022.
All circuit court sittings will be resuming from Tuesday, 17 April 2022. The current court calendars are attached with this notice and also available on the Local Court website.
- Bail Conditions
- Court lists
- On country bail applications
- Remote Community Police Bail Reviews with NAAJA representation
- Leave to appear via video or telephone
- Positive Covid cases or symptoms
- Stakeholder meetings
- Travel to communities for court
- Other Continuing Arrangements
- Reduced sitting times
- Defendants in custody
All bail conditions continued with the same terms, however reporting conditions were suspended until further order of the Court. Applications should be made to the Court if reinstatement of reporting conditions or any other bail variation is required.
Circuit courts need to maintain manageable lists, for the benefit of the legal practitioners, court staff and the community. No more than 70 matters are to be listed on any given circuit court day. Courts will not be sitting after 4.30pm. Extra days can be allocated should future listings be required to maintain these court hours.
On country bail applications
On country bail applications continue for Nhulunbuy, Alyangula, Wadeye and Tennant Creek only. Should bail be refused after telephone bail application, the Defendant will remain at that police station if a mention in Court in a regional centre can be arranged within 24 hours.
Remote Community Police Bail Reviews with NAAJA representation
The new service assisting clients with representation during telephone bail applications in remote communities will not be continuing. Remote community police bail reviews will continue, however no NAAJA representative will be available as these resources were only available during the suspension period.
Leave to appear via video or telephone
Only a small number of circuit courts currently have video capacity. Leave is granted for appearances via Teams or telephone if this can be facilitated. Please contact the relevant registry if you are unsure whether this service is available. If you require virtual appearance via Teams or telephone, please complete the notification of virtual appearance to ensure the Court has the relevant information. If Teams can be facilitated, a link will be sent as per the procedure outlined in the virtual appearance guide. It is hoped to expand the number of Courts that can offer this facility.
Positive Covid cases or symptoms
If a person is Covid positive or displaying symptoms, they should not attend at the courthouse location. This includes persons on bail and summons, including witnesses.
If a person is under a Chief Health Officer (CHO) Direction to isolate, they should not attend.
Please contact your lawyer or the Local Court registry to advise if you are unable to attend Court. You may be required to provide medical evidence of your condition or direction.
If you are a witness and unable to attend, please contact the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Witness Assistance Service on 1800 659 449.
A stakeholder meeting prior to a circuit court sitting will be convened if requested by a stakeholder regarding a risk or impediment to a forthcoming circuit. Please contact the Registrar of the relevant Court to request a meeting or provide information if a service or lawyer is unable to attend.
Travel to communities for court
Each service or person travelling to a community for Court should make themselves aware of the current CHO Directions in relation to travel, including the necessity for any Rapid Antigen Testing, and comply with such Directions.
Not all remote communities where circuits are sitting are currently listed as “excluded communities” (e.g., Jabiru).
Information is available here regarding testing requirements - Excluded Communities | Coronavirus (COVID-19) (nt.gov.au)
Notice #9 continues in operation
This Notice applied to all Local Courts in Northern Territory, including the Darwin Local Court sitting at Nichols Place, the Darwin Children’s Court sitting at TCG, the Katherine Local Court, the Tennant Creek Local Court and the Alice Springs Local Court and Children’s Court.
Reduced sitting times
Due to reduced capacity, from Monday 21 February normal Court sitting hours were changed to 9.30am to 4.00pm, until further notice. The midday lunch break remained between 1pm and 2 pm.
Defendants in custody
All people in custody are excused from attending and will not be required to appear via video from a correctional facility, unless the matter is due to progress either by bail application, plea, sentence, preliminary examination argument/oral/papers or are self-represented. Legal Counsel should notify Court staff as soon as practicable when a Defendant will be required, so that notification can be provided to the correctional facility.
This notice may be updated from time to time.