First ‘online court’ for civil cases to be trialled in NSW

11 August 2015 By Felicity Nelson

Many court orders take minutes to make, but require lawyers to travel to court and wait around to speak to judges in person. 

With the first digital court for civil cases being trialled in NSW, this could be about to change.The state government has approved a pilot for an online court in the Sydney Downing Centre Local Court to deal with civil cases in the general division. 


This is the first of its kind outside Western Australia and the US, according to the government. NSW previously ran a pilot for criminal cases in 2011.

The pilot is an initiative of the $9.2 million Justice Online project. This scheme already provides an online service through which parties can bypass a 28-day waiting period before the first preliminary hearing.

The online system also allows lawyers to file documents outside registry hours and obtain preliminary orders, reducing travel time to zero for simple matters.

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NSW Attorney-general Gabrielle Upton said the use of technology would make the justice system faster, easier and more accessible for the community.

"We are leading the nation in the use of online legal services," she said.

The government expects the online court to be established in the first quarter of next year, following an evaluation of the pilot project. 

First ‘online court’ for civil cases to be trialled in NSW
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