COVID-19

This page was last updated on 15 December 2021.

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 responding to the emergence from Lockdown as follows

HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA

The High Court of Australia will continue to hear matters by video link only for the rest of 2021.

FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

The Court is will continue to hear matters by videolink on MS Teams at least until 25 October, except in exceptional circumstances. 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.

Latest Federal Court Announcement

Federal Court COVID 19 page

SUPREME COURT OF NSW

In person final hearings are back, subject to restrictions. Duty judge matters made be by AVL or in person, subject to the discretion of the presiding judge. Registrar lists, bail hearings, and Judge's lists (uncontested matters) will remain on AVL.

Importantly, only double vaccinated people will be permitted entry to the Court building. The onus will be on solicitors to make enquiries of their participants and confirm their vaccination status with the Courts. Mask wearing remains mandatory, as does checking in. Courtroom capacity will be assessed on the basis of 1 person per 2sqm. Subject to density restrictions, media and the public are permitted to attend

There are now also updated protocols for the Commercial List, Corporations List, and Real Property List. A summary of the respective protocols are:

Commercial List

  • Consent directions must be sent to the List Judge by noon on the Thursday before the matter is listed for directions;
  • Where there is no consent, each party must by noon the Thursday before the matter is listed for directions a one page position paper. The matter will be determined on the papers unless a hearing is necessary;
  • For motions, consent order must be provided to the Court by noon on the Thursday preceding the Friday on which the motion is returnable;
  • If the parties agree the motion should be dealt with on the papers or by video hearing, notify the court by noon on the Thursday preceding the Friday on which the motion is returnable. A 3 page outline of submissions may be submitted together with any material a party wishes to rely upon; and
  • In person hearings of motions are by leave. For an in person motion, the parties must provide a 1 page position paper outlining the issues in dispute and the parties respective position on those issues and, if the Court has so ordered, written submissions on the motion.

Corporations List

  • The Monday Motions List call-over will be conducted by telephone. Each motion not dealt with by consent will be given a marking for a live hearing; 
  • By 4pm on the Thursday preceding the Monday Motions list the parties must confirm whether the matter is ready for hearing and the estimated length; and
  • By noon on the Friday preceding the Monday Motions list, the parties must provide short written submissions, together with a Court Book comprising copies of all affidavits and exhibits sought to be relied upon. Those documents must be sent by email, but if they exceed 100 pages a hard copy must be provided.

Real Property List

  • Parties must make every effort to agree upon consent orders which can be made in Chambers;
  • If agreement cannot be reached, the parties must no later than 2 days before their listing date submit proposed orders and no more than one page of written submissions for adjudication on the papers;
  • Parties may request an oral hearing and if the request is granted, the matter will be heard by telephone or AVL.

    The full Supreme Court Announcement

    Supreme Court of NSW COVID 19 Page

    DISTRICT COURT OF NSW

    The following arrangements apply in the District Court:

    • Applications for leave to appear in person in civil trials listed for hearing after 25 October may be made. Otherwise, all other civil matters will continue to be heard virtually. The Court has adopted Practice Note DC (Civil) No. 16 for applications for leave for in person appearance in Civil Trials. The practice note, which can be viewed here, includes that all hearing participants must be fully vaccinated.
    • Jury trials will re-commence in most registries from 25 October 2021. Jurors must be fully vaccinated.

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

    District Court COVID 19 Page

    NCAT

    The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal will continue to conduct hearings online or by telephone for the rest of 2021.