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NT Local Court update 2

New notice to practitioners and Practice Direction issued

The documents below outline practices to commence Monday 30 March 2020 and have been put together to assist practitioners and public appearing before the Local Court in Stage 2 of COVID 19 restrictions. They will be made available on the Local Court website also.

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Statement from the Hon Will Alstergren

Parenting Orders and COVID-19

The Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia (the Courts) are acutely aware that the current pandemic is having an enormous impact on families and the Australian community.

Parents are naturally deeply concerned about the safety of their children and how the COVID-19 virus will affect their lives. Part of that concern in family law proceedings can extend to a parent’s or carer’s ability to comply with parenting orders and what should be properly expected of them by the Courts in these unprecedented times.

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Accessing super due to COVID-19 hardship

On 22 March 2020, the Federal Government announced it will temporarily allow eligible people to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation retirement savings in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21.

For eligible people suffering economic hardship, being able to access part of their super will help them provide for themselves and their families during these unprecedented times. At the same time, it is important to be aware of the longer-term financial implications of such a decision.

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Law Council of Australia media release

Time to think about contingency plans for your next AGM

23 March 2020

Companies planning their AGM or other General Meetings during the current pandemic, should be considering developing contingency plans, says the Law Council of Australia.

This follows the release of a guidance note, developed by the Law Council in partnership with the Governance Institute of Australia and the Australasian Investor Relations Association.

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Parliamentary Preview

Emergency legislation to Protect Territorians

24 March 2020

Parliamentary Sittings resume in Darwin today with debate focusing on emergency legislation to deal with the Northern Territory’s response to COVID-19.

The two pieces of legislation will strengthen the Northern Territory’s pandemic response from a health and fiscal standpoint.

The Emergency Legislation Amendment Bill 2020 amends the Public and Environmental Health Act 2011 to allow declarations of a public health emergency for a period of up to 90 days instead of the current five-day limit. The current limit was designed to cater for emergencies such as cyclones and floods.

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Update re Covid-19

Matters heard by his Honour, Associate Justice Luppino

On behalf of his Honour, Associate Justice Luppino, please find following information regarding all hearings and mentions in the civil jurisdiction before the Associate Justice being conducted by telephone, until further notice.

This notice supplements the Notice to Practitioners Litigants and the Visiting Public – Covid - 19 published by the Court on 16 March 2020.

Paragraph 4 of the Notice provides that “Mentions and pre-trial hearings are to be conducted by way of audio link where possible”. This email provides supplementary information in respect of, and only applies to, mentions and hearings before the Associate Justice.

Until further notice, all hearings and mentions in the civil jurisdiction before the Associate Justice will be conducted by telephone or, in appropriate cases, by video link. That includes settlement conferences and matters which would normally be heard in Court, including the interlocutory list.

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NT Local Court update

New measures to reduce impact of Covid-19 virus

A meeting of Judges, lawyers and others who regularly use the NT Local Court has determined to take measures to reduce the impact of the Covid-19 virus.

Dozens of stakeholders in Darwin, Katherine, Alice Springs, Tennant Creek and Nhulunbuy, this week held a virtual-meeting to discuss the Covid-19 virus and how it could impact on the courts.

All initiatives involved steps to reduce the movement of people around the NT who are involved with court matters.

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Advice 1: Current Law Society NT Arrangements in response to COVID-19

The Law Society NT is closely monitoring the developing COVID-19 situation with a view to ensure it takes all action required to protect the health and wellbeing of the profession, Law Society staff and anyone entering its premises. Set out below are the current arrangements put in place by the Society.

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NTCAT & MHRT: Covid-19 measures

Northern Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NTCAT)

  • All existing listings for hearings and compulsory conferences are being maintained; however, all parties are being contacted in advance and advised that the tribunal strongly encourages remote participation. The usual requirements for leave to attend by phone or video are suspended. In the event a party attends in person, we are presently confident that adequate physical separation can be maintained – including if need be, by the use of more than one hearing room.
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Appointment of LCA Chief Executive Officer

16 March 2020

The Law Council of Australia is pleased to announce the appointment of Michael Tidball as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Mr Tidball currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Law Society of NSW, a position he has held for nearly 14 years.

In announcing Mr Tidball’s appointment, Law Council of Australia President, Pauline Wright, said she is delighted to have secured a candidate of such high calibre to lead the Law Council into the next decade.

“Having undertaken an extensive global recruitment for a new CEO, I am thrilled that we have secured the most experienced, serving legal association chief executive in the Southern Hemisphere,” Ms Wright said.

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Covid-19 - Circuit court services suspended

Please visit for the latest court updates relating to Covid-19.

March 14, 2020 - In light of the developing COVID-19 situation and the unique risks posed by the breadth of the NT Local Court’s circuit footprint, the Local Court will be suspending all circuit court services effective immediately.

At this stage they will resume on 1 May 2020 as per the current court calendars, and additional days may be required. These measures will not affect Tennant Creek Local Court dates.

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2020 Council

List of 2020 Council members:

  • President: Maria Savvas
  • Vice-President: Carly Ingles
  • Treasurer: Emma Farnell
  • Secretary: Tori Bell
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Office relocation update

The Society has relocated premises to 3/6 Lindsay Street Darwin and is now open to the profession and the public.

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Office details

Office: 3/6 Lindsay St. Darwin NT 0800
Post: GPO Box 2388 Darwin NT 0801
ABN: 62 208 314 893


Please note that the Society does not offer legal advice.

A list of lawyers can be found here.

Telephone: (08) 8981 5104