Arising from the Chief Minister’s latest announcement this morning please note the following:
Darwin Local Court:
- Business as usual will commence from Friday, 20 August 2021 and the front counter at Nichols Place will be open from 2pm today for any urgent enquiries.
- All Court houses have QR codes and all entrants to the court precincts will need to either check in by QR code or write down their details. This includes all members of the public, legal practitioners, defendants and witnesses. You only have to check in once for that day.
- Masks must be worn within the building and when unable to physically distance. You may remove your mask when addressing the Court.
- As per the period prior to this lockdown, we have insufficient space in the Court cells for all people in custody. The only people physically present will be those in custody for a hearing and first appearances in custody (if there is sufficient room).
- For the week commencing Monday, 23 August 2021 only, all people in custody for Directions Hearings and Preliminary Examination mentions will be excused (unless they are not represented by Counsel). As all of last week’s matters were adjourned to this week, the lists would be unmanageable for the Court and Corrections, if all defendants were to attend, even by video.
- Should Counsel (for Covid-19 reasons) wish to appear next week by AVL, the appearance slip should be filled in and forwarded as soon as possible to the relevant registry – Virtual Appearance Slip | NT Local Courts.
- A process to relist the hearings from the cancelled circuit courts will be advised to the relevant stakeholders shortly.
- The Court will return to the previous ‘on-country bail application’ process, that is, the larger stations only, unless advised it is not safe to do so.
Katherine Local Court:
The directions for the operations of Katherine Local Court, as detailed below, will continue for a further 24 hours anticipating business as usual to commence at 8.00am on Monday, 23 August 2021. The front counter of the Katherine Local Court will re-open at 2pm on Friday, 20 August 2021 for any urgent enquiries should the lockdown be lifted.
The Court will be closed from 1pm Monday, and remain closed Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and Friday at this stage to reopen on Monday, 23 August 2021 at 8am for business as usual.
- In Chambers orders will be made for all matters currently listed for those days. Non-contested matters (plea/mention/Preliminary Examination Mentions/Directions Hearings etc.) will be adjourned for seven days, all bail will be continued on the same terms and conditions. Those previously in custody will be remanded for the seven days. Counsel do not have to appear in these matters, as the orders will be made in chambers. However for custody matters only, should defence counsel wish to have the matter heard before the seven days, an email request to relist should be sent for adults and youth court matters to Katherine.LocalCourt [at] nt.gov.au. Contested matters will be adjourned to a Directions Hearing list within 14 days to be allocated with a new hearing date.
- One Judge will be presiding by AVL with first mention custody matters.
- The Darwin Children’s Court Judge will hear any urgent care and protection applications – who will be by AVL.
- All counsel, prosecutors and defence have leave to appear via AVL.
- People in custody will appear from the prison or the watch house. No defendants should be brought to the Court house.
- Urgent domestic violence orders will be dealt with by the Judge by AVL. Applicants and Defendants may appear via telephone, counsel by AVL or telephone.
- There will be only a skeleton staff at the Court house. Further details will be provided by Matt Fawkner as to how to provide your contact details for any AVL.
- A notice will be placed on the Court house doors advising anyone who turns up of the above arrangements. We will also include contact numbers for the legal aid services.
If you require assistance for matters at Katherine Local Court please contact Matt Fawkner, Registrar, ph: 8976 8956 or email Katherine.LocalCourt [at] nt.gov.au.