22 November 2021

Consistent with SA Government guidelines relating to the management of public places during the COVID-19 health emergency, the Youth Court issues the following revised directives to parties and practitioners regarding appearances in Court from 23 November 2021.

These measures will be in operation until further notice. They may be revised as new public health announcements are made. 

ATTENDANCE AT COURT BUILDINGS OR AT CONFERENCES (including at alternate venues)

  • Parties and practitioners are not to come to the Court or conferences if they have:
    • a confirmed case of COVID-19; or
    • been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19; or
    • been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting the results; or
    • been directed to isolate or quarantine by SA Health; or
    • recently arrived in SA and are subject to quarantining requirements; or
    • arrived from a State whose border is closed or restricted by the South Australian Government within the past 14 days; or
    • a fever or chills (with no alternative illness that explains these symptoms), cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath or loss of taste and smell.
  • The requirement to appear in court or at a conference may be excused in certain circumstances.
  • Masks must be work in court building including courtrooms, conference rooms and waiting rooms. However, persons speaking for a protracted period will be excused and the mask can be removed.
  • If a party or practitioner has a condition that makes them vulnerable to infection and for that reason does not feel safe attending at the court, they should advise the registry by 9.30am on the day before the hearing, provide a direct contact phone number and seek leave of the Court to appear at the hearing by phone (see below).
  • If a party or practitioner has a condition that makes them vulnerable to infection and for that reason does not feel safe attending at the conference, they should advise the conferencing unit by 9.30am on the day before the conference, provide a direct contact phone number and seek leave of the Coordinator to participate at the conference by phone (see below).
  • Parties and practitioners are not to approach Court staff and must always maintain a minimum distance from others of 1.5 metres.
  • Where possible, parties should lodge documents via electronic means via https://courtsa.courts.sa.gov.au or using the Youth Court positional mailbox:
    • All emailed documents should be signed and lodged in PDF format with a maximum of 100 pages per document.
    • Documents too large for email should be posted or lodged in a registry filing box located at a Youth Court building.
    • Parties and practitioners must copy all parties into any email communication with the Court.
  • No documents are to be handed up in Court or at a Conference.
  • All documents including written submissions, must be submitted to the Court no later than 1 clear working day before the hearing.
  • Communication with the Court is via the CourtSA website (Portal) or email to the Youth Court or Conferencing Unit positional mailboxes.
  • Parties and practitioners are reminded of the requirement that all parties must be copied into any email communication with the Court.
  • Parties are required to bring their own water as water jugs will not be provided in courtrooms or at conferences and water fountains are unavailable.
  • Lecterns have been removed from all courtrooms. However, during trials and lengthy hearings they can be made available upon request to in-court staff.
  • Hand sanitiser will be provided at the following locations in every courtroom:
    • Bench
    • Judicial Support Table
    • Bar Table
    • Witness Box
    • Sheriff’s Officer Table
    • Conference Rooms
  • Hand sanitiser will be provided for every conference venue.

ARRANGEMENTS FOR COURT PROCEEDINGS AND CONFERENCES

Listing Arrangements

  • Normal court listing arrangements to continue.
  • The Court asks to be notified of any parties who are at high risk of serious illness should they be exposed to COVID-19 and will give priority to those matters where possible.
  • For overnight arrest matters:
    • Prosecution is to provide an Information with an apprehension report attached so that defence can obtain instructions quickly; and
    • All youths will appear by AVL.
  • Youths in custody will appear by AVL or telephone.
  • Parties are also encouraged to put together an agreed statement of facts when a matter is to be called on for a plea where possible.
  • Trials that are unable to proceed due to reasons related to COVID-19 restrictions will be adjourned. Where trials can proceed prosecution and defence are to appear in person.

Requests to appear by remotely AVL or Telephone

  • Prosecution and Crown are expected to appear in person whenever possible.
  • In relation to Conferences, Department for Child Protection, SAPOL and Department for Education representatives are expected to appear in person whenever possible.
  • Generally, parties and practitioners are expected to attend court or conferences in person. However, permission to appear by telephone or AVL may be granted in the following circumstances:
    • Where a request is made by a solicitor or a party for permission to appear by AVL or telephone, including stating the reason for the request.
    • Where a request is made by DCP or DE workers to appear by phone or AVL, stating the reason for the request.
  • The request must be made at least 2 days prior to the scheduled hearing/conference by emailing the Youth Court positional mailbox or, for conferences the Conferencing Unit positional mailbox. The granting of the request will be at the discretion of the presiding Magistrate or Judge or Coordinator. Registry or the Conferencing Unit will advise the solicitor/ party of the outcome of the request no later than the day before the hearing.
  • When submitting a request to appear by telephone or AVL the practitioner (or in relation to a conference – the participant) must:
    • provide a direct landline or mobile telephone number;
    • provide an accurate email address (for AVL);
    • ensure that he/she is available to answer the telephone;
    • understand that the telephone call may be made at any time during the relevant list;
    • understand that if the telephone call is not answered, the matter will be dealt with in a manner that the relevant Judicial Officer or Coordinator deems appropriate; and
    • understand that it is up to the practitioner to inform themselves of the outcome.
  • WebEx may be used to facilitate hearings or conferences. When used, the court or coordinator will email a meeting request to parties. Parties join the hearing by clicking on the button in the email if they have a device with a camera. Alternatively, they can join by telephone using the details provided in the email. It is important that solicitors ensure they make themselves available from the appointed time, bearing in mind that the court or conference may not always call at that exact time.

Administrative Adjournments – First Mention

  • For police prosecution, any request for an adjournment by a youth or counsel on the first mention will be allowed administratively, so long as that request includes confirmation of the consent of the other party, provided that the request is submitted to Registry no later than 2 working days before the day of the hearing.
  • For prosecution by any other prosecuting authority, any request by a youth or counsel for an adjournment on the first mention will be allowed administratively, so long as that request includes confirmation of the consent of the other party, and the request is submitted to Registry no less than 2 working days prior to the day of the hearing.
  • For police or other prosecuting authority, prosecution where there are multiple youths, a request for an administrative adjournment will not be allowed unless it is made by all youths.
  • Where applicable, the parties will be advised of the new date by registry.

Conferencing Unit

  • Conferences (Family Group, Education and Family) proceed adhering to practice guidelines.
  • No changes to operations, including circuits.