AVL information

The Justice Legislation (Evidence and other Acts) Amendment Act 2016 (the Act) commenced in September 2016. The Act changed the Evidence (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1958 in relation to appearances of an accused being held in custody.
The amendments outline the circumstances in which the accused will appear via audio visual link (AVL) or physically attend the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria (‘the Court).

Section 42JA, covers the appearance of criminally accused before the Court. The legislation introduced a presumption that an accused will appear via an AVL for all hearings with the exception of listings outlined in section 42JA(2) and (3).

 The exceptions relate to the following hearings:

  • an inquiry into the accused’s fitness to plead;
  • a hearing where the accused is pleading not guilty (i.e. a contest);
  • committal hearing;
  • first hearing of accused following arrest, when the accused is required to be brought before the Court to be dealt with according to law;
  • where a Court has directed the physical attendance of the accused in the interests of justice.

Practice Direction 

Practice Direction 11 of 2016 sets out the procedure for applying for a direction that an accused person in custody is to appear physically before the Court.

The majority of MCV courts have AVL capability except:
  • Cobram
  • Corryong
  • Edenhope
  • Hopetoun
  • Kerang
  • Kyneton (TBA 2018)
  • Mansfield
  • Myrtleford
  • Nhill
  • Omeo
  • Ouyen
  • Robinvale
  • St Arnaud
  • Stawell
Area of Legislation: 

Custody Coordination Registry