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Chief Magistrate clears way to list criminal matters electronically

Queensland’s Chief Magistrate has paved the way for the listing of all criminal matters in the lower courts electronically.

Chief Magistrate Judge Terry Gardiner issued a practice direction late last week to facilitate online applications for the listing of all criminal matters to the Magistrates Court by legal representatives.

Magistrates Court Practice Direction 7 of 2020, issued on 8 July, allows for either prosecutors or defence legal representatives to submit an electronically lodged form for any matters listed in the Magistrates Court for a mention, bail application or sentence.

“Where a matter has a current listing date, a party may apply electronically where the consent of the other party (the prosecution or defence) has been obtained,” Judge Gardiner said.

Applications can be made electronically for:

  • a sentence date (including a short plea, lengthy plea or contested sentence)
  • an adjournment other than of a hearing
  • a date for a hearing of an application (including a bail application or a directions hearing)
  • a direction by the court (including a direction for the provision of a brief of evidence).

Judge Gardiner said any party applying for an order and/or a direction must apply to the court at least two clear business days before the currently listed date.

“The Court will advise the parties electronically of the outcome of the application,” he said. “If the application is not granted by the Court, the current listed Court date remains as well as any orders or directions that have been made.”

Applications are available on the courts’ website.

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