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Court services and processes are changing to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Specific measures are in place at courts and tribunals to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19.

Current restrictions on attending courts and tribunals

Courts and tribunals have measures in place to conduct proceedings without the need for attending where possible.

You do not need to attend a Court or Tribunal unless you:

  • are a party to a court or tribunal matter and no other arrangements are in place to conduct proceedings remotely
  • have received a summons for jury service or are a juror already empanelled for ongoing trials (see below for further information)
  • require face-to-face services of the registry and no other arrangements are in place to enable this remotely
  • are a representative of a news-media organisation with a legitimate reason for attending court.

Do not attend a court or tribunal if you:

  • have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 7 days
  • are a household or close contact of a person who has had COVID-19 in the last 7 days
  • you are waiting for a COVID test result
  • you are feeling unwell and have any of the following symptoms:
    • fever
    • cough
    • sore throat
    • shortness of breath.

Registrars and Sheriff’s officers may deny entry or request any person to leave a building. You must follow the directions of Registrars and Sheriff's officers.

Further information is provided on this page and in the links below.

Court and tribunal enquiries

If you cannot attend a court, or if you are unsure, contact the Courts Service Centre by email nswcsc@justice.nsw.gov.au or call 1300 679 272.

You can find further information below, including contact details for specific courts.

If you have enquiries relating to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) call 1300 006 228 or visit www.ncat.nsw.gov.au.

Further measures at NSW Courts and Tribunals

The health and wellbeing of all court and tribunal users is the paramount consideration for NSW Courts and Tribunals. Measures and precautions are being taken to minimise the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

Access is restricted to certain people and some proceedings may be conducted remotely or online.

The measures and arrangements in place may differ for NSW courts and tribunals. Further information on the arrangements in place can be found on the relevant courts and tribunals websites, or by contacting the court or tribunal directly. Follow the links below to find out more:

Jury Service

COVID-19 safety precautions will continue to be adopted in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Measures include:

  • routine rapid antigen testing;
  • QR code check-in (voluntary);
  • social distancing of jurors where possible;
  • enlarged jury deliberation rooms and empanelment areas;
  • individualised jury meals; and,
  • mandatory face mask wearing.

More information on the changes to court operations is available on the District Court website.

Jurors can access more information at Jury service and download FACTSHEET: Ensuring Juror Safety during COVID-19 or login to the Juror portal.

If you have received a summons for jury service and need further information, contact the juror information line on 1300 780 199 or visit www.juror.nsw.gov.au.

FAQ

These FAQ are also available for download.

Do I need to be fully vaccinated to be a trial participant in a jury or Judge Alone matter?

No. You do not need to be fully vaccinated if you are a participant in a jury or Judge Alone matter. This includes legal practitioners, witnesses, defendants, interpreters and jurors.

Do I need to wear a mask?

Yes. The wearing of masks is mandatory in all court premises unless you meet the requirements for an exemption under the Public Health Order and can provide evidence to support this.

What has been put in place to ensure my safety?

The Office of the Sheriff has worked with NSW Health to implement measures to minimise the risk of transmission of COVID-19. This includes compliance with physical distancing where possible, QR code check-in (optional), use of hand sanitiser, additional cleaning, Rapid Antigen Self-Testing and individually packed meals for jurors.

What is Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT)?

RAT is quick and easy. It involves a self-administered saliva swab using a small sponge lollipop-like instrument that is placed into the mouth. This instrument is then placed into a cassette to determine results.

RAT differs from the PCR test, which involves taking a deep nasal sample and throat sample and is tested in a laboratory. Rapid Antigen Testing is a tool to help detect COVID-19 in people without any symptoms.

RAT displays a result within approximately 10-15 minutes.

Will I be required to undergo Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT)?

Yes. All jury and Judge Alone trial participants will be required to undergo RAT on the first day of the trial and every 48 hours until the completion of the case.

RAT will be conducted at all District and Supreme Court locations.

What can I expect on the first day of a jury or Judge Alone trial?

On the first day of the trial, participants will need to arrive at least 30 minutes earlier in order to undertake a RAT prior to the commencement of court.

If results to the RAT are negative, court participants will be permitted to continue to trial, or jurors will be permitted to continue to engage in an induction to prepare for jury service, if selected.

What do I do if I have tested positive to COVID or need to self-isolate?

If you are a juror, you are advised to contact 1300 722 574 as soon as possible to notify the Office of the Sheriff and receive further instructions. You may be required to provide evidence to confirm your requirement to self-isolate. Under no circumstances should you attend the court.

If you are a court participant, other than a juror, you must contact the Associate to the relevant Trial Judge to advise of this information as soon as possible. A list of Associate contact details is available on the District Court’s website.

Where can I access more information if I am a juror?

If you are a juror, information relating to Jury Service can be found at juror.nsw.gov.au/home

Legal support

For useful information or legal support, visit the Legal services and support page.

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Last updated: 29 Jun 2022