Coronavirus resources centre
Our COVID-19 Resources Centre has a number of useful links and helpful guides that can be used to help navigate through the current environment.
The most recent updates include significant revisions to the Australian jurisdictional responses to the pandemic, and changes to our factsheet on execution solutions for remote working arrangements.
In the current challenging and rapidly-evolving environment, we want to assure our clients that AGS has a robust Business Continuity Plan in place to ensure that we can reliably continue to do your work. We are confident we can provide uninterrupted service to our clients. We will continue to maintain an open line of communication with all clients, and via this centre, we will provide timely updates and resources that may be useful to you during this evolving period.
|AGS client service during COVID-19||28 May 2021|
|Australian jurisdictions responses to COVID-19||5 November 2021|
|Cross-examination by video in the COVID-19 context
(Law Society of NSW Journal, September 2020 edition)
|Effecting service electronically||23 June 2020|
|Fact sheet 38: Execution solutions for remote working arrangements||13 September 2021|
|FOI & Privacy Information Law Update||8 April 2020|
|Mandatory Code of Conduct for Commercial Tenancies||8 April 2020|
|Updates on Court Arrangements||23 August|
Updates on Court Arrangements
Many Courts are making alternative arrangements for hearings and other listings due to the Coronavirus. We have provided below links to the information pages on the relevant Court websites and identified some of the critical updates to be aware of.
Federal courts and tribunals
- High Court of Australia
- Federal Court of Australia
- Federal Circuit Court
- Administrative Appeals Tribunal
- Fair Work Commission
- National Native Title Tribunal
State and Territory courts and tribunals
Federal Courts and Tribunals
High Court of Australia
- Notices regarding the Court’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak are published on the High Court’s homepage and Registry pages.
- High Court of Australia – HCA Video Connection Protocol.
Federal Court of Australia
- See all the latest updates on the Federal Court’s News and Events page and the COVID-19 Court updates page.
- Note in particular the Special Measures in Response to COVID-19 (SMIN) Practice Notes.
- We are aware that the Federal Court has been using a number of platforms to allow some hearings to progress via video conference including Microsoft Teams and Immediation.
- The Federal Court has published a Guide to Online hearings and Microsoft Teams. The guide has been developed to assist those people appearing in virtual hearings in the Federal Court using Microsoft Teams. The guide is to be read in conjunction with the Special Measures Information Note (SMIN-1).
- The Federal Court has published a Special Measures Information Note (SMIN-5) which sets out arrangements for the conduct and management of appeals and Full Court hearings during the COVID 19 outbreak.
Federal Circuit Court
- Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court released a Practitioner and litigant guide to virtual hearings and Microsoft Teams. The Courts have also released a Practitioner guide to electronic Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). The Courts are conducting ADR events using Microsoft Teams videoconferencing and/or teleconferencing.
- COVID-19 updates and information are published on the Federal Circuit Court of Australia COVID-19 updates and information page.
Administrative Appeals Tribunal
- The AAT has published a page on the Impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on our services.
- The Giving Documents or Things to the AAT Practice Direction provides guidance on the ways in which documents can be lodged with the AAT. Documents can be sent via the AAT Online Services platform.
Fair Work Commission
- See all the latest updates on the Fair Work Commission’s Updates & Advice page.
National Native Title Tribunal
- The NNTT’s website provides guidance on the NNTT’s delivery of services during the COVID-19 event.
State and Territory courts and tribunals
- The ACT Courts and Tribunals eLodgment system can assist to provide access to the courts while COVID-10 related restrictions are in place.
- See the Advice to Court Users in response to the COVID-19 Virus for information about the Supreme Court and the Magistrates Court of the ACT.
- The ACAT Latest News page provides updates on changes to ACAT operations.
New South Wales
- Supreme Court of NSW Announcements.
- District Court of NSW latest news page for information including in relation to Changes to District Court Operations.
- Dust Diseases Tribunal of NSW COVID-19 Procedure updates.
- Local Court of NSW Coronavirus information page offers general guidance on the Local Court.
- Supreme Court of Victoria Coronavirus information page has the latest updates from the Court.
- Magistrate’s Court of Victoria News and resources page has the latest updates from the Court.
- Note the issue of Practice Directions for the management of matters during the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Notices in relation to the Queensland Courts’ response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic are available on the Queensland Courts information page.
- Supreme Court of Western Australia News Updates and Public Notices
- District Court of Western Australia News Updates
- Family Court of Western Australia News and Media Releases
- Magistrates Court of Western Australia Public Notices
- The Law Society of South Australia has compiled a useful resource summarising the various updates and information impacting the Legal Profession in South Australia.
- Supreme Court of South Australia latest updates from the Court on the News page.
- South Australian Employment Tribunal – response to COVID-19.
- Supreme Court of Tasmania, see updates available on the COVID-19 Information for Court Users page.
Note also the Circulars addressing COVID-19 arrangements.
Effecting service electronically
AGS has established an e-service email address that can be used for service of originating processes on the Commonwealth or naming the Attorney-General or Minister for Industrial Relations, or personally as performing functions in these Ministerial roles: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This platform has been established to remove the need for people to attend an AGS office to serve originating documents, consistent with the Government’s directions to practise social distancing. The service is not able to be used for the service of any court documents, including subpoenas, other than originating processes. The service is also not for use by parties to litigation in which AGS is the solicitor on the record. Documents to be served by parties in existing proceedings in which AGS is the solicitor on the record should continue to be served in the usual way, electronically, on the responsible AGS solicitor.
When an originating process is delivered to email@example.com, an automatic response will be sent advising that service cannot be taken to have been effected until formal confirmation is received from AGS that service has been accepted.
AGS will review the documents and a formal email confirmation will be sent to advise when service has been accepted. The timing of AGS’s response may depend on the nature of the documents being served. Acceptance of service will, for the purpose of any limitation period, be assessed as at the date AGS receives an originating process at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have questions about this service, please contact Meredith Allen at email@example.com.
Personal service can still be effected if you do not have access to email. Please call the relevant local contact below to make an appointment to attend one of our offices. Office numbers will divert to mobile where required:
- Canberra: Matthew Blunn – 02 6253 7424
- Adelaide: Nerida Nelson – 08 8205 4230
- Brisbane: Jane Lye – 07 3360 5736
- Darwin: Claire Stokes – 08 8205 4291
- Hobart: David Wilson – 03 6210 2101
- Melbourne: Katrina Close – 03 9242 1230
- Perth: Jennifer Flinn – 08 9268 1116
- Sydney: Kristy Alexander – 02 9581 7640
AGS client service during COVID-19
AGS has arrangements in place to continue to provide uninterrupted service to our clients and to contribute to the Government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Our offices remain open in each State and Territory.
If necessary, clients can attend AGS offices to sign or deliver original documents.
All AGS staff working remotely have the support required to enable them to do so effectively, in a way which respects client confidentiality.
Our full workforce continues to be available and engaged, working to assist clients.
Mandatory Code of Conduct for Commercial Tenancies
The Mandatory Code of Conduct for Commercial Tenancies, agreed by the National Cabinet, has been released.
It will be up to each state/territory to legislate the code in each jurisdiction: ‘The Code will be given effect through relevant state and territory legislation or regulation as appropriate’.
The Code states that it will come into effect in all states and territories ‘from a date following 3 April 2020… to be defined by each jurisdiction’.