Changes to August COVID-19 restrictions - Message from the Chief Justice

The following 12 August 2021 update is from the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria and Chair of Courts Council, Anne Ferguson, on behalf of the Victorian courts and VCAT.

12 August 2021

The Victorian courts and Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) will retain current arrangements during the extended lockdown in metropolitan Melbourne, but gradually adjust operations with restrictions easing in regional areas.

Metropolitan Melbourne arrangements

Chief Justice Ferguson said matters held in Melbourne would continue to be held in person only where it is not practicable for them to be held remotely and it is essential that they proceed. The courts and VCAT will continue to hear as many matters as possible remotely. Some matters may be adjourned for a period of time.

As stated last week, jury trials which were underway when the lockdown began continue, following COVID-safe plans. No new criminal jury trials will begin until restrictions ease.

Regional arrangements

Outside metropolitan Melbourne, the Courts will use a mixture of in-person and remote hearings. Given the continued public health restrictions in Melbourne, there will be a considered approach to in-person hearings that would require travel of individuals from Melbourne into the regions.

New jury trials will re-start in regional areas on Friday, following COVID-safe plans.

“We will continue to hear matters across Victoria in line with applicable public health measures to protect against the spread of COVID-19,” Chief Justice Ferguson said.