The Supreme Court and County Court have decided to postpone the resumption of criminal jury trials in response to coronavirus (COVID-19).
Since it was announced on 15 June that jury trials would be resuming, the Supreme Court and the County Court have been monitoring public health advice on a daily basis.
Preparations were underway for some criminal jury trials to recommence in Melbourne from 20 July 2020. In light of the most recent developments, the courts have decided to postpone this recommencement.
"The decision to postpone resumption has been taken in light of public health advice and in the best interests of the Victorian community", Chief Justice Anne Ferguson and Chief Judge Peter Kidd stated. "We are conscious of the impact of this decision and will continue the work to ensure that everything necessary is in place for the resumption of criminal jury trials as soon as it is appropriate to do so."
Those summonsed for jury service and parties in the cases that were to proceed at the County Court will be notified in coming weeks.
The Court is currently working on identifying a proposed recommencement date and further advice will be provided as soon as possible.
The Court will continue to use technology to conduct a range of hearings and will take active steps to ensure all the criminal work that can be progressed is progressed to minimise the backlog.
All Victorian courts and VCAT continue to operate during this period.
Chief Justice Ferguson and Chief Judge Kidd demonstrated their gratitude to those involved, saying, "We thank all of those who have been contributing to those preparations across government and the profession."