Regional Tasmanian clients to trial pilot program

Regional Tasmanian clients to trial pilot program

20 December 2021 By Naomi Neilson

With support from the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCOA), Tasmania Legal Aid and the Law Society of Tasmania will roll out a pilot program that will better provide electronic access to court proceedings for remote and regional residents.

Under the program, the residents in these areas will be spared the stress and costs associated with travelling to Hobart or Launceston to attend and participate in family law and other court proceedings, chair of the project Judge Sandra Taglieri said.

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“There are many benefits to attending court proceedings electronically,” Judge Taglieri said. “It is particularly appropriate in circumstances where there are environmental, socio-economic, or other reasons preventing parties from being able to attend physically or to meaningfully participate through electronic means.”

The first stage of the project has identified three specific cases from the Hobart registry where a final hearing is due to take place before February 2022. Each matter involves parties who live a number of hours from the court registry and who do not have access to the appropriate technology or internet connectivity.

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The court will provide support of a service provider, including community online access centres or public libraries, to provide the necessary technology and space.

Commenting on the pilot program, FCFCOA Chief Justice the Honourable Will Alstergren said the court has successfully been utilising MS Teams nationally to facilitate the majority of hearings.

“The court is committed to continuing the use of such technology in appropriate circumstances, noting the benefits that can be realised using technology in a strategic and flexible way to facilitate access to justice,” CJ Alstergren said.

“The court is grateful to Judge Taglieri for her work and that of the working group, which includes representatives from the TLA and LST, which demonstrates a positive collaboration towards improving access to justice for the Tasmanian community.”

Regional Tasmanian clients to trial pilot program
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