Queensland Courts has provided an update for members as follows:
Supreme and District Courts
The courts have advised that from today, Wednesday 2 September, juries will be called in for all trials involving any adults except those coming as prisoners from or via Wolston, Borallon, Woodford or Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centres.
Matters involving prisoners from Wolston, Woodford and Borallon can proceed as approved by the presiding judge provided that a videoconference (VC) appearance is adequate.
We are advised that practitioners can assume that a VC appearance by the accused/defendant for a trial or sentence will not be adequate unless the presiding judge specifically authorises it. Please check with presiding judges regarding relevant listed matters.
We understand that there will be particular difficulty in VC being arranged for Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre, although it might be organised in one or two exceptional instances.
Magistrates Court update
Status of adult prisons
The COVID-19 restrictions applying in each correctional centre are outlined below:
Stage 4 – Arthur Gorrie, Borallon, Wolston and Woodford Correctional Centres, as well as Escort and Security Branch.
Stage 3 – Brisbane, Palen Creek, Brisbane Women’s, Helana Jones, Numinbah, Maryborough and Southern Queensland Correctional Centres, as well as the PA Hospital Secure Unit.
Stage 2 – No prisons in this category.
Stage 1 – Capricornia, Townsville and Lotus Glen Correctional Centres.
Adult prisoner court appearances
Stage 4 facilities – No in-person appearances can proceed. VC appearances can proceed for all centres except Arthur Gorrie, where neither in-person nor VC appearances are available for at least tomorrow.
Stage 3 facilities – In-person and VC appearances can proceed at this stage. Prisoners required to appear in-person will need to be isolated for 14 days upon return to the facility.
Stage 1 facilities – In-person and VC appearances can proceed as usual.
Brisbane Youth Detention Centre
There are no changes to the current situation. Youth Justice has advised VC appearances will not be available before Monday 7 September. Youth Justice does not yet have a timeframe for the resumption of in-person appearances from BYDC but will provide an update shortly. VC appearances are available from Cleveland Youth Detention Centre – that facility is currently in Stage 4 lockdown.
Corrections and Youth Justice are managing significant operational challenges as a result of the COVID-19 response. QLS will continue to keep members updated as more information comes to hand.