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Practice notes

Every Issue

Cite as: (2004) 78(4) LIJ, p.70

Family Court

Family Court Rules

Practice Direction No 1 of 2004
The new Family Law Rules, which come into effect from 29 March 2004, include a substantial reduction in the number of forms and a significant reworking of their style and substance into a plain English format.

Together with other recent improvements to the Court’s business processes, the amount of time spent on processing documents will reduce as a consequence of the new Rules. This will allow registry staff to concentrate on their core business of providing advice and information to practitioners and clients and support to the courts.

To gain the maximum benefit from these changes there will be no period of grace for the filing of old forms after 29 March 2004 as all practitioners will be able to obtain the new forms well before that date. However, the Court will not be over zealous in insisting on compliance where to do so would cause an injustice. Registry staff will have discretion in this regard.

All legal suppliers are now in possession of the new forms and practitioners should contact their usual supplier to order new stock.

Those practitioners who previously ordered their forms or brochures through Moore Business Systems are advised that Kalamazoo Card Services is to be the Court’s new supplier. Notification of this change and the ordering process will be advised to existing Moore’s customers by early February.

The forms will also be available from the Court’s website in mid February.

Any practitioner who has difficulty in obtaining copies of the new forms should contact Amber Skurr at the Court’s communication office on tel (02) 6243 8691.

Chief Justice Alastair Nicholson
9 February 2004

Supreme Court

Corporations business

Notice to practitioners

  1. From 2 February 2004 Justice Mandie is the judge in charge of corporations business.
  2. To the extent practicable, his Honour will deal with both interlocutory and final hearings.
  3. All corporations work of a kind required to be heard by a judge (including appeals from a master) is to be made returnable before his Honour in Court 2, Old High Court building at 10am on Fridays.
  4. To facilitate the examination of files before a hearing, parties must file at the Prothonotary’s office all papers on which they intend to rely at the hearing (including copies of exhibits for the use of the judge) no later than the time required by the Rules or by 4pm on the Wednesday preceding the return day, whichever is the earlier. If it is thought that there will be any argument of any substance on the return day, all parties should no later than 4pm on the Wednesday preceding the return day serve a brief outline of submissions incorporating references to principal authorities relied on and within the same time provide a copy to the judge, either by filing at the Prothonotary’s office or by forwarding to his Honour’s associate by facsimile.
  5. In the case of an application required to be heard urgently or otherwise than on a Friday, practitioners should contact his Honour’s associate (tel 9603 6235, fax 9603 6126) to make an arrangement for a hearing before his Honour or, if necessary, another judge.
  6. Urgent applications before a master will be dealt with in the same way as is now done.
  7. This practice note is in substitution for the practice note dated 14 December 2001.

M Rowland
Senior Associate to the Chief Justice
5 February 2004

Supreme Court

Victorian taxation appeals

Notice to practitioners
Justice Nettle is the judge in charge of Victorian taxation appeal cases. These are cases covered by Ch II O.7 of the Rules of the Supreme Court.



By Practice Note No 4 of 1999, Victorian taxation appeal cases (referred to in the note as the Taxation List) have been allocated to the Commercial and Equity Division. Hence all O.7 proceedings, which include appeals and applications for leave to appeal from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), should be commenced in the Commercial and Equity Division.

Interlocutory applications


An interlocutory application in an O.7 proceeding is to be brought before his Honour. This includes a directions hearing. It also includes an application for leave to appeal from VCAT.


His Honour is available for interlocutory applications on the last Friday of each month, or at such other times as may be appropriate. Please telephone his Honour’s associate on 9603 6155 to confirm his Honour’s availability before issuing any summons.


In the ordinary course of events, at the first directions hearing his Honour will set down the appeal or application for hearing before himself, order outlines of submissions and make such other directions as appropriate.


In an application for leave to appeal from VCAT, in the ordinary course of events his Honour will set down the application to be heard with the appeal. However, it should not be assumed that this will happen and the applicant should be prepared to state in summary form at the initial hearing why the application should proceed. See Department of Premier and Cabinet v Hulls [1999] 3 VR 331 at [8-17].

Ken Wriedt
Associate to Justice Nettle
2 February 2004

County Court

Entering of nolle prosequis or notices of discontinuance and filing of presentments or indictments

To assist in the efficient recording and management of the announcement of nolle prosequis or the filing of notices of discontinuance, presentments or indictments before a judge other than the trial judge or the judge seized of the matter, the following procedures apply as from 1 February 2004.

  1. The OPP or the CDPP, as the case may be, will notify Criminal Listings at least 24 hours in advance of the intention to make the announcement or file the presentment or indictment.
  2. Criminal Listings will fix a mention time and date and cause the matter to be listed before the judge in charge of the Criminal List.
  3. Criminal Listings will ensure that the file is presented in court. The matter will appear as a mention in the daily list of cases.
  4. In all other cases the existing practice will continue to apply.

Chief Judge Michael Rozenes
20 January 2004

County Court

Release of tape recordings in civil proceedings


  1. The Council of Judges has determined that the audio track of a tape recording made by the Court of those civil proceedings in which there has not been an authorised recording and transcript of the proceeding should be released to a party or parties in appropriate circumstances, to enable consideration to be given to an appeal. All references to civil proceedings in this practice note are to that type of civil proceeding.
  2. The current practice is that where an appeal from a civil judgment is initiated, a copy of the audio track of the tape recording is released to an approved transcription agency for transcription. The transcript and the recording are then returned to the Court to enable the presiding judge to check the transcript for accuracy and to revise rulings and the judgment. The transcript is then released. The tape recording is retained by the judge’s staff for such period as the judge determines. No copy of the recording is given to the parties.
  3. Representations were made to the Court for a change in the current practice so as to permit release of the audio track of the tape recording and thereby allow parties to listen to the evidence, or parts of it, before deciding whether to institute an appeal, without the expense of having the tapes transcribed.

Practice directions


For the purpose of enabling a party to a civil proceeding to consider a possible appeal from a judgment given or order made in such proceeding, a request may be made by or on behalf of such party for release of a copy of the audio track of the tape recording of the proceeding.


The request must be in writing, addressed to the associate to the presiding judge. The request should be made within seven days of the date of the judgment or order from which an appeal is being considered.


The request must contain an undertaking in writing or, if the presiding judge so requires, in person in court by the requesting party, an authorised representative of the requesting party or the solicitor for the party that:

(a) the tape recording will be used solely for the purpose of enabling consideration to be given to a possible appeal;

(b) the tape recording will not itself be copied;

(c) the tape recording will not be used for the purposes of broadcast or other publication;

(d) the tape recording will be returned to the Court within 28 days of its release by the Court; and

(e) if a transcript is required for the purposes of an appeal, such transcript will be produced only from a copy of the tape recording sent directly by the Court to an authorised transcriber in accordance with the Court’s current practice.


It is within the discretion of the presiding judge whether to grant the request.


If the presiding judge grants the request, a copy of the tape recording will be provided in accordance with the above undertaking.


The original tape recording will not be released.

Chief Judge Michael Rozenes
4 February 2004


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