Circulars

No.5 of 2010

Lawyers' Access to Remandees and Prisoners

This Circular updates the arrangements for lawyers’ contact with clients in the Tasmanian prison system. It is issued to avoid unnecessary adjournments to take instructions, which affect the Court’s case management procedures.

In general, lawyers will be able to contact their clients either by phone or in person, provided an appointment is pre-booked a reasonable time in advance. Lawyers are requested to assist the Prison Service by arranging visits for instructions at scheduled times. The Prison Service will require a minimum of 30 minutes advance notice of clients to attend the telephone link.

A schedule of current access days and times at all prisons is attached.

The Prison Service requests that solicitors’ visits to take instructions from clients at all Prison Service facilities be organised sufficiently in advance of scheduled court appearances, as last-minute requests cause logistical difficulties for the Prison Service.

The Prison Service also confirms that telephone interviews with clients will continue to be arranged at short notice in extenuating circumstances.

Lawyers are also advised that persons in custody can request the Prison Service to include their lawyer’s telephone number on their approved list for use on the Prison’s "Arunta" telephone system. When approved, the client is able to phone his or her lawyer at any time without the need for booking an appointment. Arunta telephone calls to lawyers are confidential and are not monitored by the Prison Service.

These arrangements take effect immediately.

Circular 2/2005 dated 18 May 2005 is rescinded.

Jim Connolly
Administrator of Courts

6 December 2010