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Tribunal Response to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)


The Tribunal has determined that the following steps will need to be taken in order to ensure it complies with Public Health advice for social distancing in responding to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Tribunal has located to new premises at 38 Barrack Street, Hobart.

The new premises have greater space to allow some attendances in person within social distancing requirements and new technology is available at the Tribunal premises.

The Tribunal has therefore made the following changes to its directions for attendance at Tribunal Hearings to ensure it complies with Public Health advice for social distancing in responding to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

ATTENDANCE BY TELEPHONE CONFERENCE OR VIDEO CONFERENCE:

  1. All hearings and mediations will continue to ordinarily occur by telephone conference (and all persons are encouraged to continue to appear by telephone conference), however attendance in person can be requested as set out in under ATTENDING TRIBUNAL PREMISES below.

    Anyone may attend any public hearings of the Tribunal by telephone conference.  Where the Tribunal has advertised proceedings and you wish to attend, please give as early notice as possible and no later than 48 hours prior to the hearing.

  2. PLEASE READ ADVICE 1 with respect to the protocols for attendance by telephone conference which has been updated.  Please have regard to the new information.  PLEASE NOTE:  WHEN THE TRIBUNAL CONTACTS YOU BY TELEPHONE FOR A HEARING, THE CALL WILL APPEAR AS A SYDNEY TELEPHONE NUMBER.  THERE MAY ALSO BE AN AUTOMATED VOICE ADVISING YOU HAVE JOINED THE CONFERENCE.
  3. PLEASE READ ADVICE 2 with respect to attendance by video conference which has been updated.  Please have regard to the new information.

ATTENDING TRIBUNAL PREMISES:

  1. General

    Members of the public are encouraged to limit their visits to Tribunal premises if possible.  All notices can be filed electronically by email, and fees can be paid by telephone.

  2. Any person who wishes to attend the Tribunal premises must comply with the following requirements:
    1. A person will not attend the premises if they: have COVID19, have been instructed to quarantine and their 14 days are not yet finished; or are unwell, including with fever (or night sweats/chills) or respiratory symptoms eg. shortness of breath, cough, sore throat.  
    2. A person who is required to appear in proceedings, will notify the Tribunal as a matter of urgency if they are unable to attend the premises for these reasons.  The Tribunal will make alternative arrangements for their attendance remotely where possible.
    3. Any person present on Tribunal premises will observe all lawful directions issued regarding social distancing and limiting exposure to the virus as permitted by the Court Security Act 2017 including:
    4. maintaining a 1.5 metre distance between each person whether in hearing rooms or common areas;
    5. following all directions from Tribunal staff as the maximum number of persons who may enter a space or room at any one time and where to be seated;
    6. avoiding touching surfaces/items and any physical contact between persons;
    7. sanitize hands whenever entering or exiting the premises
    8. covering coughs or sneezes with elbow or tissues (and safely disposing of tissues).
  3. Public Hearings (Directions Hearings, Mentions, Full Hearings):

    Any person may request to attend a public hearing in person.  This request must be made no later than 48 hours prior to the listing.  This is to ensure the Tribunal knows how many persons wish to attend in person and can appropriately manage the safety requirements of social distancing at the Tribunal premises.  The Tribunal will notify you if there is sufficient room for members of the public to attend the day before the hearing.  If there is not, you will still be able to attend by telephone conference. Priority will be given to parties to proceedings as explained below under: HOW THE TRIBUNAL WILL PRIORITISE ATTENDANCE IN PERSON.

  4. Mediations:
  5. Parties to proceedings may request a mediation be convened in person between parties to the proceedings.  This request must be made at least 7 days prior to the listing, and preferably when the directions hearing occurs.  On-site mediations have additional requirements which include parties completing a consent form located here (insert link), and returning the form to the Tribunal prior to the mediation.

HOW THE TRIBUNAL WILL PRIORITISE ATTENDANCE IN PERSON:

The Tribunal will prioritise requests to attend hearings in person by giving first preference to parties, their representatives/lawyers and witnesses. Members of the public may still attend by telephone, and if there is enough room at premises within prescribed safety limits, they may attend in person when confirmed by the Tribunal. Telephone conference attendance will be arranged if the premises cannot accommodate all persons who wish to attend.

VARIATIONS TO THESE DIRECTIONS:

Any directions as to the manner in which a hearing should proceed will be done after affording all parties an opportunity to be heard with respect to Natural Justice or any other relevant considerations.

RECORDINGS OF PROCEEDINGS:

The Tribunal acknowledges there may be circumstances which arise which prevent a member of the public from attending a public hearing (such as technological limitations or failures).  As such, until further notice, the Tribunal will provide (at no cost) a copy of the recording of any public hearing to any member of the public who wishes to listen to proceedings before the Tribunal but was unable to attend.  Please note, that the provision of any recording will be subject to directions restricting its use and publication to other persons which will require that the recording is not to be provided to any other person or published in any way.

TESTING:

Legal practitioners and other professionals who regularly appear before the Tribunal may wish to make arrangements with their own support staff to facilitate the testing requirements of the Tribunal for use of Video Conferencing systems.  The testing process will be a technical test only, and will not require the actual appearance of legal practitioners or professionals to establish connections