The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal has released three new practice directions.
QCAT Practice Direction No.4 of 2022, released today, outlines the arrangements for all guardianship matters until further notice.
It is similar to Practice Direction No.3 of 2022 (all matters excluding minor civil disputes and guardianship matters) and Practice Direction No.2 of 2022 (minor civil dispute matters in Brisbane and South-East Queensland Magistrates Courts), but practitioners should check the practice direction relevant to them.
Key points in Practice Direction No.4 include:
- Irrespective of whether the Notice of Hearing states that personal attendance is required, until further notice, all oral hearings will be conducted by remote conferencing, unless otherwise directed by the Tribunal.
- All applications and other documents should be filed by email or by post in accordance with the instructions given by the QCAT registry. No documents should be filed in person unless it is not possible for the party to file by email or by post.
- If an active party, their representative/s or a witness intends to participate in the hearing, the party must advise the QCAT registry no later than three business days before the hearing of the telephone number they wish to be contacted on.
- If an active party wishes to appear in person at the hearing, that active party must give written notice to the QCAT registry no later than three business days before the hearing. The tribunal will then decide how the matter will proceed, including whether personal appearance is permitted. If personal appearance is permitted, the party must ensure they provide in writing their contact details and confirmation that the person:
- has not been currently diagnosed with COVID-19
- is not presently awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test
- has not been in close contact with another who already has COVID-19 such as to require the person to self-quarantine (in accordance with Queensland Government guidelines and recommendations)
- is not suffering any of the symptoms of COVID-19.