The Federal and State Courts have announced adjustments to their usual procedures going forward, but importantly the Courts remain open and are continuing to hear and progress matters. Procedures are in place to minimise face-to-face contact, including remote hearings (by phone or video) wherever possible.
There has been some relaxation in relation to signing of documents and affidavits, given the practical difficulties posed by remote working arrangements and isolation requirements. Where remote hearings aren't possible, the Courts are continuing to hear matters face to face, but only if the circumstances really warrant it.
Crucially, all courts are encouraging parties to take active steps to resolve matters and reach agreement where possible, in the hopes of limiting the frequency of appearances. In light of these measures, delays may be expected in the progression of ongoing litigation, but it is clear that we must all respond sensibly to these changes, and be flexible and innovative in the way we pursue or defend litigation in the coming months.
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