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24 June 2021: Land and Environment Court news

COVID-19 - Requirements for Attending the Land and Environment Court

Wearing Mandatory Face Coverings

The Public Health (COVID-19 Greater Sydney) Order (No 2) 2021 was made yesterday and mandates the use of face masks in certain situations:

"15 Direction to wear fitted face coverings
(1) The Minister directs that a person must wear a fitted face covering over both the person’s nose and mouth while in any indoor area of non-residential premises…”

The Land and Environment Court has put the following procedures in place in response to the Public Health Order.

Masks must be worn in all places of the Court, including the court registry, courtrooms and conference rooms (subject to the exceptions below), corridors and waiting areas within that part of the court building solely occupied by the Land and Environment Court unless one of the exemptions stated in the Public Health (COVID-19 Mandatory Face Coverings) Order 2021 applies.

Everyone in a courtroom or conference room must wear a mask, unless:
1) the person concerned is an active participant in the proceedings, namely the presiding judge, commissioner or registrar, a practitioner who is responsible for presenting the case in court or a witness giving evidence,
2) one of the exemptions stated in the Public Health (COVID-19 Mandatory Face Coverings) Order 2021 applies; or
3) at the discretion of the presiding officer.

The exemptions stated in the Public Health order are as follows:
1) People are not required to wear masks if they:
a) are children aged 12 or under
b) have a physical or mental illness, condition or disability that makes wearing  a mask unsuitable, for example, a skin condition, an intellectual disability, autism or trauma.

A person may remove a mask if they are:
a) eating or drinking
b) communicating with another person who is deaf or hard of hearing
c) at work and the nature of the work makes wearing a mask a risk to the person's, or another persons', health and safety, or means clear enunciation or visibility of their mouth is essential
d) asked to remove their mask to confirm their identity.

Public Gathering Restrictions

Today has also seen the reintroduction of the 1 person/4 m2 rule and social distancing between people of 1.5 metres.  As such, the capacity of the Court’s courtrooms has been adjusted to reflect this new requirement as set out in the table below:

Courtroom

Capacity

AVL/teleconference line (TC)/ MS Teams (Teams)

1A

13

AVL/TC/Teams

3A

12

AVL/TC/Teams

3B

6

TC/Teams

3C

13

AVL/TC/Teams

5A

12

TC/Teams

5B

12

TC/Teams

10A

13

TC/Teams

10B

13

TC/Teams

11A

13

TC/Teams

11B

14

TC/Teams

12A

14

AVL/TC/Teams

13A

14

TC/Teams

13B

14

AVL/TC/Teams

Signs have been posted on each courtroom indicating the capacity of each courtroom and available seating marked with a green dot.

All visitors to the Court are reminded that they are required to check in using the QR code located on each floor.

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