10.4 Appendix D: District Court protocols

District Court proceedings take place in a dynamic, high-volume, time-pressured environment. In normal circumstances media applications should be processed within three days or less, as directed by a judge. This addendum sets out where the application process in the District Court differs from the In-Court Media Coverage Guidelines (the guidelines). It recognises that:

  • Each judicial officer¹ is entitled to control what happens in his or her court and retains discretion to depart from this addendum and the guidelines where he or she sees fit.
  • Judicial officers will not grant permission for applications other than in the court in which they will be presiding, but for ease of administration reserve the right to refer the processing of an application to another judicial officer for determination.

Application of the addendum

In general there is a three-working-day timeframe of notice for applying for and processing media applications in the District Court.

  1. Any person who wishes to film, record or photograph a hearing must apply to the judicial officer who is to preside at the hearing, via the registrar or deputy registrar of that court.
  2. The application must be lodged, preferably by email, no later than three clear working days before the day of the hearing.
  3. Where an application is out of time, the presiding judicial officer has discretion to abridge that timeframe provided sufficient grounds are stated on the application.
  4. Within one working day of receiving the application, any party to whom the application has been referred for comment must notify the registrar by email whether the application is opposed, and if opposed, give reasons in writing.
  5. The three-day timeframe applies to the following types of District Court criminal trials:
    1. a trial for a category 1 or 2 offence
    2. a jury trial for a category 3 offence before it is adjourned for trial callover
    3. a judge-alone trial for a category 3 offence before it is adjourned to a judge-alone trial (or to a pre-trial admissibility hearing)
    4. a judge-alone trial for a category 3 offence after the adjournment referred to in paragraph (c) above if the case is not a Crown prosecution.
  6. The timeframe does not apply to first appearance for which applications may be at short notice. This is to accommodate the brief time elapsing since arrest; and because applications for name suppression are usually given first consideration at these hearings.


¹ Judicial officer means a judge, justice of the peace or community magistrate

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