Criminal law fees due to COVID-19

Criminal law fees due to COVID-19

Over the past two years we introduced interim fees in indictable crime to respond to the following pilot programs and initiatives:

  • County Court Active Case Management System (ACMS) and Trial Questionnaire Certificates
  • Intermediaries program (Ground Rules Hearings) and Section 198A hearings (for leave to cross examine witnesses in special hearing matters)
  • Supreme Court fees for:
    • case management initiatives (case conferences and administrative call over processes)
    • homicide 'fast tracking' hearings.

We sought ongoing funding as part of the 2020/21 State Budget process to support these fees. While we await clarification about how much funding has been allocated and for what time period, the current fees will be extended until 30 September 2021.

Interim Active Case Management System – County Court (previously Emergency Case Management) 

Earlier this year the County Court introduced an Interim Active Case Management model system (ACMS) for new initiations in the County Court.

We are committed to ensuring matters progress in a timely manner and that where possible, efforts towards resolution are supported. Accordingly, new initiations that are dealt with through the interim ACMS model will attract the same fees that were announced last year to support Phases 2 to 5 of the Emergency Case Management System. These fees are payable until 30 September 2021.

Some matters will continue to be covered by Phases 1–5 of the Emergency Case Management model which was introduced last year for pending trials that were delayed or vacated due to COVID-19.

Interim ACMS and emergency case management – phases 2 to 5 matters

There will be a single Case Conference fee that applies regardless of what takes place at hearing.

Hearing/activity Total fee How to apply
Case Initiation Notice $432 Built into the committal and trial grant. Also available as an extension. 
Instructor’s Preparation for Case Conference $648 As extension on trial grant.
Counsel/Advocate’s Preparation for Case Conference $1450 As extension on trial grant.
Appearance at Case Conference $1234 As extension on trial grant.
Instructing – per hour (up to a maximum of five hours per day) $149 As extension on trial grant.
 

Judge alone trials 

Hearing/activity Fee How to apply
Written submissions supporting application $811 Supreme Court and County Court Special disbursement
Hearing to discuss application

$432 – County Court

$588 – Supreme Court

Special disbursement

County Court trial readiness processes

Hearing/activity Fee How to apply
Trial readiness certificate

$432

Extension on grant

Ground rules hearings

Hearing/activity Fee
Ground rules hearing in the Supreme Court (subsequent day trial fee)
$1977
Ground rules hearing in the County Court (subsequent day trial fee)
$1234
Ground rules hearing in the Magistrates Court – Committal (daily appearance fee)
$437
Ground rules hearing in the Magistrates Court (daily appearance fee)
$437
Ground rules hearing in the Children’s Court (daily appearance fee)
$437

Section 198A hearings

Hearing/activity Fee
Application for s198A Hearing
$648
Section 198A Pre-trial examination (subsequent trial day fee)
$1234

Supreme Court alternative process for homicides

Hearing/activity Fee How to apply
Application to cross-examine witnesses $810

Fee payable under contested committal grant.

If committal is not aided, special disbursement

Appearance where witnesses are cross-examined $1977 per day Extension on committal grant


Supreme Court Administrative Callover

 

To ensure that cases are 'trial ready'on the first day of empanelment, the Supreme Court is introducing a new Administrative Callover Process for all matters that are yet to be allocated a trial date. The Administrative Callover Process will be facilitated by the filing of four documents. Counsel for the Prosecution and Defence will be required to complete the documents and it is hoped that they will help to identify case management needs, estimated trial duration, and cases requiring priority (such as those involving a child or vulnerable accused; child or vulnerable witnesses; and other issues which could give a case a priority trial listing) more accurately. This new approach may reduce the need for additional directions hearings. VLA is providing an interim fee for Counsel required by the Court to participate in the process.

Hearing/activity Fee How to apply
Administrative callover processes (counsel preparation) $588 Built into the trial grant
 

 

Supreme Court Conference  

Hearing/activity Fee How to apply
Conference $1655 per day Sentence indication fee – extension on the trial grant
 

Court of Appeal

Hearing/activity Fee How to apply
Court of Appeal judgements via email or Appearance $443 Payable under Court of Appeal Grant (Table K)

More information

Read about other changes to our services due to COVID-19

Contact

If you have questions please contact Program Manager, Indictable Crime, Emily Allan by emailing emily.allan@vla.vic.gov.au  or Manager Assignments or Renee BlightClark on renee.blightclark@vla.vic.gov.au.

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