No. 2 of 2000

Audio Conferencing Charging Policy

Audio-conferencing enables multiple parties to participate in Court proceedings by telephone from various locations around the Tasmania, interstate, or overseas. Subject to the discretion of the presiding Magistrate, the technology can be used in any jurisdiction exercised by the Court eg. civil, criminal, tribunals, and coronial jurisdictions. Recent experience has shown that audio-conferencing is frequently used in civil proceedings.

The Magistrates Court (Civil Division) Rules 1998 enable civil litigation to be initiated in any of the 4 registries of the Court around the State in Hobart, Launceston, Devonport and Burnie.

Since the commencement of the Magistrates Court (Civil Division) Act 1992 in March 1998, many Directions Hearings and pre-trial Conferences are now conducted by audio-conference.

As a result of the new Rules, solicitors around the State are now able to conduct litigation in remote registries of the Courts without the expense of instructing agents in the cities to attend at these proceedings.

The Magistrates Court has installed the necessary infrastructure to enable the use of audio-conferencing for the convenience of the parties.

 It is appropriate that the party deriving the cost benefit by using the audio conference facilities should be charged for the costs associated with the conference. As a result, the current charging policy will apply.

The Magistrate or Court Officer presiding at the Directions Hearing or pre-trial Conference will determine which party will be responsible for the call cost.  By way of explanation and without limiting this discretion, the Magistrate or Court Officer may take into account such factors as :

  • the place where the event giving rise to the litigation occurred;

  • the location of the residence or business of the parties in the litigation

This Charging Policy will take effect on 1 February 2000.

Jim Connolly
Administrator of Courts
15 January 2000