No. 6 / 2018

Court Security Act 2017

Practitioners are advised that the Court Security Act 2017 (“the Act”) will commence on 1 July 2018.  It replaces the Admissions to Court Act 1916.

The Act governs the good order and management of security at all Tasmanian Courts and Tribunals.  All powers and duties in the Admissions to Court Act 1916 have been modernised, together with some new provisions. The new provisions most relevant for practitioners relating to the management of security at the Supreme Court and the Magistrates Court are:

  1. The use of “electronic devices” and “recording devices” (as defined) is prohibited in courtrooms except by specified groups of people or unless the Court has given permission (s11).  The specified groups of people are practitioners, court staff and journalists. Please ensure that your clients and witnesses are aware of this. Any person may use an electronic device in the foyers and forecourt areas.
  2. A security officer may ask any person attending court to give their name address, reason for attending court and to provide identification (s14). Practitioners are an exception to that rule if they provide evidence of their status.  The Magistrates Court will accept magistrates court issued identification cards or an ID card issued by the Law Society as evidence, as per Circular to Practitioners 1/2012.  You may wish to advise your clients and witnesses of this requirement.
  3. Section 10 of the Act provides that a prohibited item that is also an exhibit requires authorisation from a magistrate, Administrator of District Registrar before it can be brought onto court premises. Such authorisation must be in writing, and presented to court security upon arrival at court.

I encourage all practitioners to familiarise themselves with the provisions of the Court Security Act 2017.

Penelope Ikedife
Administrator of Courts

28 June 2018