Law Council of Australia

Policy Portal

Principles for determining the appropriateness of online hearings

22 November 2022

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic led to an unprecedented shift in the way Australian courts and tribunals conduct proceedings, including a significant increase in the use of online hearings. Following this paradigm shift, courts and tribunals are continuing to utilise online hearings across multiple jurisdictions.

The Law Council recognises that while the increased use of online hearings may present opportunities to reduce potential barriers associated with physical attendance, it also creates a number of challenges for courts and tribunals and their users, and may adversely impact both access to justice and the principle of open justice.

The Law Council has accordingly developed Principles for determining the appropriateness of online hearings, intended to provide high-level guidance for the benefit of courts and tribunals with the view to promoting consistency across jurisdictions while acknowledging the importance of access to justice for parties and open justice in the Australian legal system.


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