1. This Practice Direction applies to all family law applications, including appeals, filed in the Family Court of Australia (“the Court”).

  2. Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, where appropriate and necessary, the Court is modifying its practices in order to minimise the attendance by legal practitioners and parties at registries, with the Court’s priority being the health and safety of the community, Judges and staff.

  3. This Practice Direction takes effect from the date it is issued and applies to all family law applications and documents filed after the date of issuing.

  4. The Practice Direction remains in effect until and unless superseded by a future Practice Direction, or revoked.

Electronic Filing of all documents

  1. To facilitate matters being dealt with electronically, legal practitioners and parties must efile all documents on the Commonwealth Courts Portal.

  2. If documents are unable to be efiled, then they should be emailed to the relevant registry (at the registry email address available on the Court’s website) for filing.

  3. Hard copies of documents should not be posted or delivered to the registry, except in the limited circumstance where a party is unrepresented and unable to email documents.  

Annexures to affidavits

  1. Unless total annexures exceed more than two centimetres in width, documents referred to in affidavits should be attached to the affidavit when it is electronically filed or emailed to the registry.

  2. Applications to file documents in excess of two centimetres in width should be made to the registry case co-ordinator who may liaise with the duty registrar or docket judge as the case requires. If the application is acceded to, parties will be required to email those documents (or if email or other electronic means is not possible, to provide a USB stick containing those documents) to the registry.

Subpoenas

  1. Subpoena viewing at all Court registries is by appointment only. Requests for an appointment should be made by emailing the relevant registry.

  2. Legal practitioners and parties should only make appointments to view subpoenaed material if they have a matter scheduled for hearing in the subsequent 4 weeks or the matter is urgent. 

 

[Signed in hard copy]

THE HONOURABLE JUSTICE WILLIAM ALSTERGREN
CHIEF JUSTICE
FAMILY COURT OF AUSTRALIA

DATE: 19 MARCH 2020