All new Supreme and District Court jury trials suspended due to coronavirus

Mark Speakman and Premier Gladys Berejiklian outside the Supreme Court. Picture: Brook Mictehell

Mark Speakman and Premier Gladys Berejiklian outside the Supreme Court. Picture: Brook Mictehell

All new Supreme and District Court jury trials have been suspended until further notice due to the coronavirus crisis.

Jury trials that have started will continue.

Attorney-General Mark Speakman said he supported the changes being implemented by NSW courts to minimise the spread of coronavirus, while keeping the courts as operational as possible.

Mr Speakman said visitors not involved in proceedings were asked to stay away from any NSW court building.

"Measures will also be implemented to reduce contact between parties in current matters," he said.

"The Local Court will implement greater use of Audio Visual Link technology to minimise the number of people in court.

"Court staff and participants will continue to be provided with the latest information on self-protection and hygiene.

"In addition, the Department of Communities and Justice will be working in partnership with NSW Health on further measures to reduce the impact of coronavirus.

"I acknowledge this will cause inconvenience, which is why a range of additional options to mitigate disruptions are being discussed with heads of jurisdiction.

"These include exploring:

  • Ways to centralise bail applications in the Local Court at key locations.
  • Having judge-only trials in the District and Supreme Courts, by consent, where possible.
  • Filling judge's lists with matters other than jury trials. For example, sentencing matters may be an area where any backlog could be worked through.
  • Measures to reduce physical contact between jurors in current trials.
  • Pre-recording evidence from key witnesses, for use in jury trials when they resume."