The ACT Magistrates Court will attempt to limit the spread of coronavirus by further reducing the number of cases listed in the next three months, and needing only magistrates, court staff and prosecutors to physically attend matters that must go ahead.
The court has already wound back its activities and put in place "social distancing" measures, but will ramp up its response to COVID-19 from Monday.
The changes will impact on most areas of the court's operations.
Acting Chief Magistrate Glenn Theakston has announced that criminal matters listed before July 1 will be rescheduled, except where the defendant is in custody, on bail or listed for sentence.
Defendants and their lawyers will appear by phone or audio-visual link in those cases, with defendants who are legally represented excused from appearing by any means in some instances.
Prosecutors may still appear in person, meaning only they, the magistrate and court staff would be physically required in the courtroom.
The Magistrates Court will continue to hear interim family violence and personal protection order applications by phone, but final protection order hearings listed before July 1 will be vacated.
A wide range of civil matters listed before July 1 will also be rescheduled, with parties appearing remotely in the cases that continue.
"The court will advise parties in vacated matters of new dates in due course," Mr Theakston said on Friday.
"We thank the community for their patience at this time."
The Magistrates Court registry will also only accept documents filed electronically or by post, while documents will be available for inspection only in exceptional circumstances.
The ACT Supreme Court also has some measures in place including restrictions on the filing of documents, though it is attempting to push ahead with most criminal and civil cases as listed and with "social distancing" in operation.
It is intended that Supreme Court jury trials will continue, though only two can take place at any one time and some may therefore need to be rescheduled.
Judge-alone trials are more easily accommodated, however, and those already listed may be brought forward, with priority given to matters where the accused is in custody.
The Supreme Court's drug and alcohol sentencing list has also stopped receiving new referrals until further notice because of the impact COVID-19 has had on treatment service providers.
Registrars' lists, pre-trial applications and some appeal matters in the Supreme Court are now being conducted by video link, while civil enforcement matters will not be processed until further notice.
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