The Victorian courts and Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) have transformed the way they operate in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Both criminal and civil courts have moved rapidly to a position where appearances are being managed through the electronic and digital environment.
In response to public health advice, the Courts and VCAT have made a number of operational changes that include the postponement of criminal jury trials, guidance around the use of face masks and access to cases and hearings.
Further changes are now being made in response to the introduction of Stage 4 COVID-19 restrictions. Physical attendance is now limited to urgent or priority court or tribunal matters determined by the relevant head of jurisdiction.
Further information about each jurisdiction's response is available on their respective websites.
Court Services Victoria COVIDSafe Plan
Court Services Victoria is committed to protecting the health, safety and wellbeing of all employees, judicial officers and VCAT members, and court users.
Court Services Victoria has a COVIDSafe Plan that covers the workplaces of Victorian courts and VCAT.
The CSV COVIDSafe Plan sets out what the courts and VCAT:
- are doing to help prevent the introduction of COVID-19 in our workplaces
- require regarding face-covering for people who enter our buildings
- are doing to prepare for, and respond to, a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in a workplace
- doing to meet all of the requirements set out by the Victorian Government.
The COVIDSafe Plan includes the following measures:
Physical Distancing and Hygiene Measures
- Signage in courtrooms, meeting rooms, public waiting areas, lifts, toilets and office spaces indicates the number of people who can use a space and what furniture can be used
- Signage to inform people about the use of face coverings and good hygiene is displayed at entrances, in kitchens and bathrooms, and where sanitiser and masks are distributed
- Perspex hygiene screens have been installed at Registry counters
- Hand sanitiser dispensers are in place in a variety of public areas, at the entrances of buildings and courtrooms, and near lifts
- Cleaning and sanitising of all buildings occurs regularly. All public facing touchpoints, toilets, wash basins, soap dispensers, hand sanitiser units, kitchens and office areas are sanitised at least twice daily
- Trays and equipment at security entrances are cleaned after each use
- Following a reported COVID-19 case in a court or tribunal, impacted areas are closed immediately and deep cleaning is performed
- Anyone in a court or tribunal building must wear a face covering unless an exemption applies
- Disposable masks are available to court and tribunal users at entrance points before security screening, and bins for safe disposal are also available
Preparing for and responding to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19
- Authorised officers can refuse entry to court venues and remove from court premises any person who:
- advises they have COVID-19 or has been tested and awaiting results for COVID-19
- advises they currently have flu like symptoms
- has visible flu like symptoms
- Record keeping measures are in place to record the attendance of all visitors to court venues
- Court Services Victoria has implemented a protocol to support proactive notification of internal and key justice sector stakeholders when a positive COVID-19 case is reported as having been present in a Victorian court or tribunal venue
- Court Services Victoria notifes WorkSafe of confirmed cased of COVID-19 in the workplace
For further information, please email email@example.com.
This page was last updated: Tuesday 11 August 2020 - 7:53am