The Court has made changes in light of coronavirus (COVID-19) developments.
The County Court remains committed to providing access to justice across regional Victoria during this period.
Until further notice, the County Court has changed how circuit sittings at regional locations will be conducted due to the COVID-19 virus and having regard to the following matters:
The County Court is working with the profession to leverage technology to run virtual hearings to enable parties to participate remotely.
Insofar as the regional work in the criminal jurisdiction is concerned, the County Court will work with parties who have matters listed at circuit locations in order to conduct work remotely (where possible) utilising technology including telephone conferences, and audio-visual solutions.
County Court criminal jury trials cannot proceed until juries recommence. The County Court will focus on indictable pleas and sentences, sentence appeals from the Magistrates’ Court, appropriate pre-trial hearings and the case management of vacated jury trials.
Although no juries are available, it may be appropriate that civil jury trials be heard as causes. The Court will work with the parties and their lawyers to process proceedings in circuit lists, particularly causes and serious injury applications.
Mediation services and hearings conducted remotely, using technology solutions, will continue with co-operation from the profession. Circuit sittings are being maintained for disposition of as much business as practicable by these remote procedures.
We will continue to closely monitor the situation with a view to re-commencing conventional County Court circuit sittings as quickly as possible.