The court will notify you if your matter is listed for a remote hearing, especially during these covid times. The Federal Circuit Court and Family Court of Australia can conduct hearings in-person at their own registry locations and on regional circuits but also can provide electronic video links and telephone hearings. Don’t be mistaken as electronic hearings are still a proper and formal court hearing. The usual rules of court, court procedures, courtesies and formalities in the courtroom still apply and compliance is still expected.
Hearings by telephone utilise the AAPT teleconferencing platform. When you are connected, never place the call on hold- take another call while connected or record the hearing. However you can place the phone on mute whenever you are not speaking. Before the hearing you should familiarise with the Practitioner and Litigant Guide to Virtual Hearings and Microsoft Teams that sets out procedures, technology and tips and also adhere to your lawyer’s instructions. Hearings by video link can be done via Microsoft Teams or the AAPT teleconferencing platform. A paid subscription is not required in order for the parties to participate.
How would you know?
A party can request that the hearing be conducted via video link or telephone by completing a Request Form. To work out how and when a hearing will occur, you can check the court orders when it is made by the Judge or registrar to work out the method and location of the hearing. Typically the court will send you or your lawyer (if you have one) an email outlining how to join the hearing and the necessary documents that you should provide to the court before the hearing date.
If there are any special needs that require consideration, it is vital that you or your lawyer make note of this once you receive your notice of hearing. This may apply in circumstances where there is no access to internet, no access to suitable electronic devices (computer, smartphone), you may require the support of an interpreter, etc. The court should be contacted as soon as you are aware of any special needs via the live chat on the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia website, email or phone.
If you need assistance with your legal matter or have any questions, feel free to contact Frank Law on (02) 9688 6023.
This is not legal advice.