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Sunday, December 6, 2020
Ian Cubitts
Ian Cubitts

Acting Justice Lorraine Walker to resume Chief Magistrate duties

Acting Justice Lorraine Walker will leave the Supreme Court of the ACT to resume her Chief Magistrate duties as the COVID-19 health emergency impacts the Drug and Alcohol Sentencing List (DASL).

Acting Justice Walker will leave the Supreme Court, where she has established and run the DASL, on 9 April, before returning to the ACT Magistrates Court on 20 April.

Currently, there are eight DASL participants. These participants will continue on their drug and alcohol treatment orders, supervised by Justice Chrissa Loukas-Karlsson and the DASL team.

Because of the health emergency, services supporting the DASL have been wound back, there will be no new referrals to the DASL, and DASL operations will be very limited.

In a media statement, Chief Justice Helen Murrell noted that “Acting Justice Walker has decided to return to the Magistrates Court to ensure the efficient use of ACT judicial resources in these difficult times ” .

“The Supreme Court acknowledges the innovative work undertaken by Acting Justice Walker and looks forward to resuming full DASL operations once the health emergency has passed.

“The Magistrates Court recognises the valuable contribution made by Acting Chief Magistrate Glenn Theakston, who has led the Court confidently and effectively since August last year, including the recent challenges presented by the impacts of COVID-19.”

Magistrates Court changes

From Monday 30 March, the ACT Magistrates Court moved to reduced activity arrangements, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, but still continues to be available to exercise critical functions.

Amongst the arrangements, people attending the precinct are to continue to adhere to social distancing and hygiene practices, while anyone required to self-isolate must not attend court.

Arrangements include changes for civil, family violence and personal protection order, adult criminal, and Children’s Court matters, and include restrictions on filing some documents in person.

A number of matters listed to commence before 1 July this year have been vacated, with the court to notify parties of future listing dates.

For more information and for the full list of measures, visit courts.act.gov.au

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Temporary Access Canberra closures due to COVID-19