Security and other arrangements for the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) Conference in September 2007 will impact upon court sittings over the period 27 August to 9 September 2007.
First, state courts within an area bounded by Manly, Hornsby, Windsor, Penrith, Camden, Campbelltown and Sutherland, with the exception of bail sittings (mentioned below), will not sit during the public holiday on Friday, 7 September. Similarly, the NSW Attorney Generalâs Department has been advised that Federal and Family courts throughout metropolitan Sydney will also not sit on that day.
Secondly, police officers will be unavailable to attend court and give evidence in criminal matters over this period. Although the conference itself does not commence until 3 September, extensive police training will be conducted during the preceding week. The following details are based onï¿½ current advice from the New South Wales Attorney Generalâs Department, and may be subject to change.
The APEC conference will have an impact on District Court trial listings in Sydney for the weeks commencing 27 August and 3 September.
Practical difficulties during this period, mainly the unavailability of police witnesses, will restrict the number of trials to be listed. The chief judge has decided to reduce by 10 the number of trial courts sitting in Sydney for these two weeks and to sit an extra 10 courts in the country. The DPP and Legal Aid Commission have been consulted and agree with this approach.
Police from the Sydney West, Gosford and Wollongong regions will be involved in security operations in Sydney during this time. The District Court will not sit during the public holiday on 7 September.
Accordingly the chief judge has requested that short matters weeks be rostered in Sydney West, Gosford and Wollongong during these two weeks and that extra trial weeks will sit at East Maitland, Queanbeyan, Lismore, Bathurst (at Katoomba) Goulburn, Albury, Wagga Wagga , Taree and Port Macquarie during the weeks commencing 27 August and 3 September.
The chief judge proposes not to list any fresh trials in Sydney during this period although it is inevitable that there will be a number of part heard trials continuing, through this period.
In the period 24 August to 7 September, magistrates will be listing civil and nonpolice matters, such as apprehended violence orders. Bail arrangements Amendments to the Evidence (Audio and Visual Links) Act 1998 have been passed during the current parliamentary session to enable bail hearings for people in custody for offences committed over the APEC period to be heard by audio visual link.
Weekend and weekday Local Court bail sittings will continue over the two week period, including the public holiday planned for 7 September.
The Bar Association will continue to monitor the conferenceâs impact on the court system and advise members accordingly.
The APEC 2007 Taskforce publishes the latest information about changes to transport and access to the Sydney CBD during the September conference. Visit www.apec2007.org andï¿½printï¿½the Sydney Bulletinsï¿½or viewï¿½the Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs).ï¿½
15 August 2007