Queensland’s Supreme Court and District Court will now conduct court matters in person to the extent consistent with medical advice and health directives from the Chief Medical Officer.
The Chief Justice and Chief Judge announced the resumption yesterday, with immediate effect.
Their statement said: “This announcement is not intended to supersede the specific protocols which have been announced for Civil applications dated 21 May 2020 and for Criminal proceedings dated 21 May 2020, but it will be apparent that this assumption underlines those protocols.
“Parties and practitioners should attend oral hearings in person unless there are current Health Directives which preclude that attendance or the Court has granted leave to attend by telephone or video.
“To assist in avoiding the possible spread of the disease, practitioners should endeavour to minimise the need for physical attendance in courtrooms by:
“1. minimising the number of people attending court for any given matter
“2. resolving issues to the greatest extent possible, to reduce the time for which any presence in court is required
“3. observing all social distancing requirements in Court precincts.
“Supreme and District Courts will continue to investigate the wider use of audiovisual links, and updates will be provided as the platforms to be used. The Court currently uses Chorus Call, Pexip and is moving to Microsoft Teams in the coming weeks (link to be provided).
“Within courtrooms, safe distances should be maintained, and practitioners should not be present in court other than when their matters are being dealt with.”