The Online Court commenced operating in the General List in the District Court of NSW on 31 October 2018. At present, from the Court’s perspective, the implementation of the Online Court has been a success in terms of statistics, productivity, and the speed and willingness of many lawyers to use it.
Daily, 90 per cent of cases in the General List are dealt with in the Online Court. More time is devoted to cases that require the Court’s expertise, rather than routine mentions. The days when up to 140 solicitors would attend John Maddison Tower are in the past.
Practice Note 1B also commenced on 31 October 2018. The Practice Note – and other important materials that help lawyers understand how the Online Court operates in the District Court – is found on the District Court website under the Practice and Procedure tab. Included in these materials is the Judicial Registrar’s Guide to the Online Court. This article will attempt to provide some of that guidance in more detail and will use terms from those materials.
Change of practice
The arrival of the Online Court has brought many positive comments and observations and, not unexpectedly, some negative feedback. The feedback can be divided into two common themes.