Photography, recording, mobile phones and electronic devices

It is an offence to record any part of a VCAT hearing without permission (Court Security Act 1980).

Photography and recording in hearings

You must have the VCAT member’s approval in writing for visual and/or audio recording, including photography.

If a VCAT member allows you to record a hearing, you may still commit an offence if you publish or give the recording to others without the member’s written permission. Seek legal advice if in doubt.

You cannot use artificial intelligence (AI) meeting assistants. This is because these AI tools automatically record hearings.

Apply to use your own audio visual equipment in a hearing room at least a week before your hearing.

Mobile phones and electronic devices in hearings

Your mobile must be switched off or on silent at all times inside the hearing room. You must get the member’s permission to:

  • make or take phone calls
  • use an electronic device to instantly publish; for example, posts on social media such as Facebook or Twitter, and live blogging or broadcasting.

You can use a laptop or tablet for legal business related to the hearing but it must not disrupt proceedings.

Assistive listening devices and hearing loops are available in some of our hearing locations.

The member has the final say about using mobile and other electronic devices during a hearing.

If you do not comply with these directions or the member’s instructions, you may be asked to leave the hearing room or building. You could also be prosecuted if you have committed an offence. 

Apply to use technology in a hearing room at least a week before your hearing.

In VCAT foyers and other areas

You must get approval from the VCAT President or Chief Executive Officer to take photographs, videos or other recordings in a VCAT venue or its forecourt. To seek permission, contact the customer service desk.

Media accreditation at VCAT

A news media organisation representative or an Australian legal practitioner can make an audio recording to help them write a media report or represent clients – unless the member directs otherwise.

We have media policies at VCAT that include media accreditation. Accredited media representatives have standing permission to use a laptop to take notes, file stories by electronic device and tweet from the hearing room (unless the member directs otherwise). As members of the media they can also audio record the hearing for the purposes of writing a media report.

To find out more about VCAT accreditation as a representative of a news media organisation visit our Media centre page.