COVID-19

This page was last updated on 5 April 2022.

Is Banco Chambers open?

Banco Chambers is open to the public from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.

Is there a requirement to be vaccinated to attend Chambers?

Banco Chambers is required to provide a safe workplace for its barristers and staff. Accordingly, Banco Chambers has adopted a policy whereby, in addition to our own Barristers and staff, any other person attending Banco Chambers for any extended period (for example, for a conference) is required to be fully vaccinated (subject to limited exceptions). If you have any enquiries about this matter please contact the Clerk.

Are your barristers still working?

Yes. Our barristers are still working and accepting new briefs.

How do I get in touch with one of the barristers? How do I brief them?

Our barristers can be contacted in the usual way, and all briefing enquiries can be directed to our Clerk, Jeh Coutinho. Banco Chambers has corporate subscriptions with Zoom and Microsoft Teams. We are able to organise and facilitate conferences and court hearings on either platform, and our barristers are also adept at meeting with you over other platforms such as Cisco Webex, Skype, and Blue Jeans.

All of our barristers are able to accept briefs electronically. If you need assistance in setting up a conference or making arrangements to brief a barrister electronically, please do not hesitate to ask.

What is happening at the courts?

Courts are operating as follows:

HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA

The High Court of Australia is hearing appeals in person but is also continuing to hear directions and special leave applications by video.

FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

The Court continues to hear matters by videolink on MS Teams, except in circumstances where an in-person hearing is appropriate. If any party wishes to request an in-person hearing, the approach should be made to the docket or trial judge with all reason as to why an in-person hearing is necessary.

Federal Court COVID 19 page

SUPREME COURT OF NSW

From 4 April 2022 the Court will list up to four matters per floor for live, in-person hearings. Unless notified otherwise by the Court, substantive hearings, contested motions and contested directions will be heard in person with staggered listing times. Should there be any difficulties (COVID related or otherwise), parties are able to make an application for the matter to be heard by telephone or AVL.

Registrar's lists and uncontested matters in Judges' lists will continue to be heard by telephone or AVL. Where there are proposed consent orders, these should be sent through to the Associate to the relevant List Judge well in advance of any directions hearing.  

Duty Judge matters will continue to be heard by AVL at least until Easter.

Attendees to the Court must be at least double vaccinated and must wear a face mask.

Protocol for the Commercial List, Arbitration List and Technology and Construction List

The Court has implemented a new protocol which can be viewed here. In summary:

  1. Callover of motions at 9.15am will continue by telephone.
  2. If no consent orders have been filed the matter will be listed for a live hearing in groups of 10, starting at 10am in 30 minute intervals. The Commercial List goes first followed by the Technology and Construction List.

Procedure for directions

  1. Consent directions must be sent to the Association by midday on the Thursday before the matter is listed for directions. Matters dealt with by consent won’t appear in the list
  2. Where a matter has not been dealt with by consent or where the parties seek a hearing date each active party must be represented in person at the time at which the matter is listed unless some other arrangement is made with the List Judge’s Associate prior to 5.00pm on the day before the matter is listed. The parties are not required to file or to serve position papers.

Procedure for Motions

  1. By 12 noon on the Thursday preceding the Friday on which the motion is returnable each party must: (i) notify the court of any consent order to be made; or (ii) if the parties agree that the motion can be dealt with remotely or on the papers, notify the court of that fact together with providing any material to be relied upon and an outline of written submissions not exceeding 3 pages;
  2. All motions not dealt with by consent (including motions to be heard remotely) will be listed and called through by telephone at 9.15am to determine what is in dispute and the length of the hearing to be given a marking for an in-court hearing (or telephone hearing if required).

Latest Supreme Court Announcement

Supreme Court of NSW COVID 19 Page

DISTRICT COURT OF NSW

The following arrangements apply in the District Court:

  • Civil lists are to be conducted remotely but civil hearings and short matters may be conducted in person..
  • Jury trials are still proceeding.

District Court Practice Note DC Civil No 16 - Applications for leave for in person appearances in civil trials

District Court COVID 19 Page

NCAT

Matters are proceeding by video link. There will be no in person hearings at NCAT before April 2022.