Magistrates' Court of Victoria to commence weekend sittings


Today the Chief Magistrate announced the commencement of weekend sittings at the Magistrates Court at Melbourne. 

On 16 November 2013, a pilot of a weekend bail / remand court based at the Magistrates’ Court at Melbourne, will commence. The pilot will operate for an initial period to allow review. The review will identify and measure the progress of the initiative and, if considered appropriate, the pilot may extend to 30 October 2014.

The Magistrates’ Court at Melbourne will be open on Saturday and Sunday from 9.00am and will close at 5pm. The court will commence sitting from 10.00am and adjourn at 4.00pm.

A Magistrate will be available to hear remands and applications from the previous evening or during the day on a Saturday and Sunday.

The pilot will involve matters arising from Melbourne and suburban locations.

Where an accused appears in court and is remanded in custody by the magistrate, the accused may be remanded to a date other than a Monday. This will allow the Court to distribute its caseload across the week and bring the accused into timely contact with support services, where necessary.

Where the accused is from a suburban location outside the CBD and is further remanded, they will be remanded back to the proper venue of the Court in the suburbs.

The Court will primarily hear applications for bail or remand on the weekend sittings.

The weekend sittings are intended to improve the operations of the Magistrates’ Court at Melbourne and reduce the pressure of cases listed on Monday mornings at Melbourne and suburban courts. Weekend sittings will also enable accused, being held in custody, to be brought before the Court at the earliest time.  

The statement can be downloaded here.