The COVID-19 pandemic is having a substantial impact on courts all around Australia and the Criminal Courts in Queensland have implemented a range of changes to court operation in order to protect the public and court staff during this COVID-19 pandemic.
Our Solicitor Siobhan French shares her experience of attending the Magistrates Court at Brisbane in a criminal law matter via telephone. The Magistrate conducted the call-over just as though the legal practitioners were in the courtroom, but over the telephone. The matters were called out by the presiding Magistrate and then listed throughout the day at various times so practitioners could call back into their respective matters.
The Magistrates Court continues to conduct sentences and bail application in criminal matter and client are able to appear via video link if they are in jail. The Courts, and legal practitioners, are adapting to these new measures to ensure no one remains in custody simply due to the COVID-19 pandemic. From all accounts, the systems employed by the Court at this time are working well. It is worth noting that any urgent matters can be listed with the court’s permission; however, the less urgent matters are being adjourned for approximately three (3) months in the hope the COVID-19 pandemic will have somewhat abated by then.
Over the next few weeks, Siobhan French is due to attend the mention of a matter in the District Court at Beenleigh which will be conducted in the same manner. At this time any jury trials (where clients are pleading not guilty) in the Supreme and District Courts have been suspended as a precaution.
If you, or someone you know, is due to attend court at any time in the next few months and they are unsure about what they need to do, please contact us here at Cornerstone Law Offices and we will guide you through the process.
We’re all in this together.