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Practice Directions 2020

Practice Direction 15 of 2020

Family Division – Child protection proceedings – COVID-19 emergency protocol

This Practice Direction introduces further measures necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic for the management of child protection proceedings in the Family Division of the Children’s Court of Victoria (the Court). When it comes into effect, this Practice Direction revokes Practice Direction No.1 of 2020 and Practice Direction No. 9 of 2020.

This Practice Direction is to be read in conjunction with Practice Direction No. 14 of 2020 – Readiness Hearings.

This Practice Direction applies at Melbourne Children’s Court with effect from 23 November 2020 and at all other venues of the Children’s Court from 7 December 2020.

Download a copy of the Practice Direction here

Practice Direction 14 of 2020

Family Division – Child protection proceedings – COVID-19 readiness hearings

This Practice Direction is issued pursuant to Section 592 of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (CYFA).

This Practice Direction introduces further measures necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic for the management of child protection proceedings in the Family Division of the Children’s Court of Victoria (the Court). When it comes into effect, this Practice Direction revokes Practice Direction No. 6 of 2020.

This Practice Direction is to be read in conjunction with Practice Direction No. 15 of 2020.

This Practice Direction applies at Melbourne Children’s Court with effect from 23 November 2020 and at all other venues of the Children’s Court from 7 December 2020.

Download a copy of the Practice Direction here

Practice Direction 13 of 2020

Criminal Division – COVID-19 – Diversion

This Practice Direction is issued pursuant to Section 592 of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005.

The Children's Court of Victoria commenced hearing diversion hearings 'on the papers' pursuant to Section 420ZL of the Criminal Procedure Act 2009 on 5 May 2020 in accordance with Practice Direction No. 4 of 2020. This Practice Direction modifies the process for the hearing of diversion proceedings ‘on the papers’ and revokes Practice Direction No. 4 of 2020. This Practice Direction took effect from 18 August 2020 and was reissued on 20 November 2020 with the launch of eDocs.

Download a copy of the Practice Direction here

Practice Direction 12 of 2020

STATE OF DISASTER DECLARATION 2 AUGUST TO 13 SEPTEMBER 2020

COVID-19 pandemic response – Method by which hearings are to be held

This Practice Direction is issued pursuant to section 592 of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (CYFA) read in conjunction with Part 6A of the Open Courts Act 2013 and section 528(1) of the CYFA.

Preamble

This Practice Direction introduces a further temporary measure necessitated by the COVID‑19 pandemic. It is informed by the latest medical advice from Victorian public health authorities to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of all Court users. In order for the Children's Court to continue its critical role in the administration of justice for the children, young people and families of the State of Victoria, the following Directions are made.

Directions

  1. All proceedings in the Children’s Court of Victoria for the period 10 August to 13 September 2020 are to be held by audio visual link (including WebEx) or by audio link if audio visual link is not available.
  2. Direction 1 will not apply where neither audio visual link or audio link is available.
  3. Direction 1 will not apply if the presiding judicial officer otherwise orders in circumstances where that officer is satisfied in a particular case that it is not possible to conduct a fair hearing in that manner.

This Practice Direction commences on 10 August 2020.

Download a copy of the Practice Direction here

Practice Direction 11 of 2020

Criminal Division – COVID-19

This Practice Direction is issued pursuant to Section 592 of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 and introduces further temporary measures necessitated by the COVID‑19 pandemic and the Stage 4 restrictions imposed under the declared State of Disaster.  

This Practice Direction applies with effect from 10 August 2020 to all Criminal Division proceedings filed in the Children's Court throughout Victoria other than CAYPINS matters. This Practice Direction will operate for the duration of the declared State of Disaster and revokes Practice Direction 2 of 2020. A further Practice Direction will be issued by the Court at the conclusion of the State of Disaster.

Download a copy of the Practice Direction here

Practice Direction 10 of 2020

Family Division – COVID-19 protocols

Subpoenas and the online inspection of documents

This Practice Direction is issued pursuant to Section 592 of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 and Rule 9B(2)(ii) and Rule 9G of the Children, Youth and Families (Children’s Court Family Division) Rules 2017 (the Rules).

This Practice Direction introduces further temporary measures necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic for the management of proceedings in the Family Division of the Children’s Court of Victoria and applies to Family Division matters listed at Melbourne, Moorabbin or Broadmeadows Children’s Court (including regional matters that are being case managed by Melbourne Children’s Court).

This Practice Direction outlines the process that applies to the issuing of a witness summons, the listing of a return of a witness summons, the management of objections and the method of inspection of documents produced pursuant to a witness summons, including the online inspection of subpoenaed documents.

This Practice Direction commences on 3 August 2020.

Download a copy of the Practice Direction here

Practice Direction 9 of 2020

Family Division – COVID-19 emergency protocol

Melbourne, Moorabbin & Broadmeadows venues of the Children's Court

This Practice Direction is issued pursuant to Section 592 of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005.

This Practice Direction introduces further temporary measures necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic for the management of proceedings in the Family Division of the Children’s Court of Victoria (the Court) at Melbourne, Moorabbin and Broadmeadows. This Practice Direction revokes Practice Direction 1 of 2020 for these venues of the Court only.

This Practice Direction is to be read in conjunction with Practice Direction 6 of 2020 – Readiness Hearings and the Reintroduction of Reserved Submissions that commenced on 1 June 2020.

Download a copy of the Practice Direction here

Practice Direction 8 of 2020

Intervention order applications – COVID-19

This Practice Direction is issued pursuant to Section 592 of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 and replaces Practice Direction 7 of 2020 which is now revoked.

This Practice Direction applies to applications for intervention orders made to the Children’s Court of Victoria (the Court) pursuant to the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic.) or the Personal Safety Intervention Orders Act 2010 (Vic.) and outlines protocols for the listing and hearing of intervention order proceedings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic at all venues of the Court. It is informed by the latest medical advice from Victorian public health authorities to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of all court users. 

This Practice Direction takes effect from 13 July 2020 and will operate for the duration of the Stage 3 restrictions announced by the government on 7 July 2020 across the Greater Metropolitan Melbourne region.

Download a copy of the Practice Direction here

Practice Direction 7 of 2020

Intervention order applications – COVID-19

This Practice Direction is revoked and replaced with Practice Direction 8 of 2020.

Download a copy of the Practice Direction here

Practice Direction 6 of 2020

Family Division – COVID-19 emergency protocol – Readiness hearings and the reintroduction of reserved submissions

This Practice Direction is issued pursuant to Section 592 of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 and introduces further temporary measures necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic for the management of proceedings in the Family Division of the Children’s Court of Victoria (the Court) and is to be read in conjunction with Practice Direction 1 of 2020 dated 23 March 2020.

This Practice Direction applies to matters that were listed at Melbourne, Moorabbin or Broadmeadows Children’s Court (including regional directions hearings and fixtures that are being case managed by Melbourne Children’s Court) and that have been adjourned in accordance with Practice Direction 1 of 2020 with effect from 1 June 2020.

Update 31 July 2020

Practice Direction 6 of 2020 has been reissued and will commence on 3 August 2020.

Download a copy of the Practice Direction here

Practice Direction 5 of 2020

Criminal Division – COVID-19 – Unopposed bail variation 

This Practice Direction is issued pursuant to Section 592 of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 and introduces temporary measures necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In order to ensure that unopposed applications for variation of bail can be heard and determined in a timely manner during the COVID‑19 pandemic, this Practice Direction introduces an alternative procedure for such unopposed applications consistent with the emergency health measures currently in place in Victoria with effect from 5 May 2020.

Download a copy of the Practice Direction here

Practice Direction 4 of 2020

Criminal Division – COVID-19 – Diversion

This Practice Direction is issued pursuant to Section 592 of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 and introduces temporary measures necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In order to ensure Diversion applications can continue to be heard during the COVID‑19 pandemic, this Practice Direction introduces an alternative procedure for Diversion hearings consistent with the emergency health measures currently in place in Victoria with effect from 5 May 2020. 

Download a copy of the Practice Direction here

Practice Direction 3 of 2020

Intervention order applications – COVID-19

This Practice Direction is revoked and replaced with Practice Direction 7 of 2020.

Download a copy of the Practice Direction here

Practice Direction 2 of 2020

Criminal Division – COVID-19

This Practice Direction introduces temporary measures necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is informed by the latest medical advice from Victorian public health authorities to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of all Court users. 

This Practice Direction applies to all Criminal Division proceedings filed in the Children's Court throughout Victoria with effect from 25 March 2020.

Download a copy of the Practice Direction here

Practice Direction 1 of 2020

Family Division – COVID-19 emergency protocol

This Practice Direction is revoked and replaced with Practice Direction 9 of 2020.

Download a copy of the Practice Direction here