Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Grant has suspended all new jury trials in the NT until June 5 as a “precautionary measure” in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown. Photo: Emma Murray
Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Grant has suspended all new jury trials in the NT until June 5 as a “precautionary measure” in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown. Photo: Emma Murray

New NT jury trials suspended until June

CHIEF Justice Michael Grant has suspended all new jury trials in the NT until June 5 as a "precautionary measure" in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown.

Current trials and those in which a jury has already been empanelled will continue as normal and other matters not requiring the presence of a jury, such as legal arguments or the recording of evidence, will also go ahead.

A spokesman for the Supreme Court said the decision had "become necessary as a consequence of the restrictions imposed by the Federal and Territory Governments".

"In taking this step the court is conscious of the impact this action will have on the administration of justice," he said.

"Jury trials will resume as soon as practicable, in a manner consistent with the health and safety of the public."

For trials currently listed between now and the June 5 cut-off in which no jurors have been selected the presiding judge's associate will make arrangements with the parties for vacating the dates as well as custody and bail issues.

A decision will be made one month prior to the deadline on whether it will be necessary for the suspension to continue after that date.

Meanwhile arrangements have been made for lawyers in other hearings to appear via telephone and accused persons will typically be excused from attending if represented or appear via video link.

Anyone who has been summonsed for jury duty during April will no longer be required during that time but should expect a summons when jury trials recommence.

Originally published as New NT jury trials suspended until June