Virtual hearings and trials

The Court has introduced virtual hearings and trials in response to coronavirus (COVID-19). This will enable the Court to continue providing essential services.

Many cases are now being heard electronically via Cisco Webex Meetings (Webex) and Zoom conferencing software. This is intended to reduce the need for in-person attendance at Court.

Virtual hearings and trials occur where a courtroom is in use, but the parties are appearing remotely.

eHearings and eTrials occur where the parties, as well as the Court, are appearing remotely.

Criminal matters

Criminal Division matters are conducted using both Webex and Zoom. The Criminal Division information sheets below provide detailed information to parties and practitioners on how and when to use Webex and Zoom.

Zoom registrations

Anyone other than a student seeking to attend a virtual hearing or eHearing in any of the following lists is required to register their attendance for the hearing by completing an online registration form for the relevant list:

Parties must register their appearance at least two days before the hearing. Practitioners can register for their client or counsel if they have the full name, email address which will be used to access the hearing and a current phone number.

Please note: Failure to register your appearance by 4pm the day prior to the hearing could result in a non-appearance being recorded or the matter being called at the end of the list.

A Remote hearing notification form is not required where a party has registered their appearance or attendance.

On receipt of registration and subject to approval, the link to attend the Zoom webinar hearing will be emailed to the attendee for use on the morning of the hearing.

For all other criminal virtual hearings and eHearings, including the 10.30am General Crime List and 10.30am Sexual Offences List, a Remote hearing notification form must be filed.

Student registrations

Students seeking to attend a virtual hearing or eHearing should email communications@countycourt.vic.gov.au with the following information:

  • case number
  • time
  • name of the presiding judge.

Do not email any other County Court address requesting to observe a hearing.

Civil matters

Common Law and Commercial Division matters are conducted by Zoom. The information sheets below provide detailed information to parties and practitioners on how and when to use Zoom.

Court schedule daily lists

Virtual hearings and eHearings can be identified in the ‘Hearing type’ description for the listing and beside the judge’s name.

Enquiries about virtual hearings and trials

Enquiries about virtual hearings can be addressed to:

Virtual backgrounds for practitioners

Members of the legal profession may download and use the below images of County Court courtrooms for their virtual background while participating in County Court virtual hearings and trials.

Background 1 – ceremonial courtroom

Background 2 – courtroom including dock

Background 3 – courtroom without dock

Best practices for participating in virtual hearings

You can access tips and suggestions for video conferencing etiquette in the document Top tips and best practices for participating in virtual hearings.

The Supreme Court and County Court ran a webinar that has been made available for streaming called ‘The dos and don’ts of virtual hearings’. It covers tips and tricks for virtual hearings.

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Page last updated: 19 May 2021