Online applications for criminal matters in the Queensland Magistrates Court was enabled from 9 July 2020. Queensland’s Chief Magistrate Judge Terry Gardiner paved the way for the listing of all criminal matters in the Magistrates Courts electronically via the release of a new practice direction.
Magistrates Court Practice Direction 7 of 2020 allows for either prosecutors or defence legal representatives to submit an electronically lodged form for any matters listed in the Magistrates Court seeking an order for a date for a directions hearing, bail application or sentence. However, such applications must be by consent.
If an application is not by consent parties must approach the court in the usual way and Practice Direction 10 of 2010 continues to apply.
“Where a matter has a current listing date, a party may apply electronically where the consent of the other party – prosecution or defence – has been obtained,” Judge Gardner said when releasing the new practice direction.
Online applications can be made for:
- a sentence date, including a short plea, lengthy plea or contested sentence;
- an adjournment, other than of a hearing;
- a date for a hearing of an application, including a bail application or a directions hearing;
- a direction by the court, including for the provision of a brief of evidence.
Any application where the matter already has any date listed must be made at least two clear business days before the currently listed date.
“The Court will advise the parties electronically of the outcome of the application,” the Chief Magistrate advised. “If the application is not granted by the Court, the current listed Court date remains as well as any orders or directions that have been made.”