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COVID-19 outbreak updates

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This page will be updated as new information becomes available. If you have an issue with the page, or would like to suggest further content, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Updates, resources and information

Please always double-check information directly as developments occur quickly.

Court updates

Northern Territory Local Court updates

Supreme Court of the Northern Territory updates

Updates & notices from the NT legal profession

If members would like to provide an update on the status of their organisation, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • 10/06/2020 Supreme Court of the Northern Territory: Registries in Darwin and Alice Springs will re-open, with appropriate social distancing measures in place, as of 15 June 2020.
  • 19/05/2020 Darwin Community Legal Service: DCLS will be closed for enquiries from 1.00 pm every Wednesday, commencing 20 May 2020 - the email address at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. will still be monitored.
  • 02/04/2020 Supreme Court of the NT library: Legal practitioners registered to use the library in the Supreme Court are advised that it remains open for face-to-face visits. Library patrons will need to maintain 1.5m social distancing from staff and others. Staff may also take requests by email or phone.
  • 23/03/2020 Tony Fitzgerald Memorial Lecture cancelled: Please be advised that the Tony Fitzgerald Memorial Lecture that was due to occur on 1 April 2020 @ NT Library has been postponed until further notice due to Covid-19 restrictions. Contact the Criminal Lawyers Association of the NT if you require additional information https://clant.org.au/contact-us/
  • 22/03/2020 Darwin Community Legal Service: Our general legal, tenancy and seniors and disability services are now operating by phone or video link up. Face-to-face services - including our in-house appointments and volunteer clinics - have been cancelled until further notice.

Government

Northern Territory Government (NTG)

Australian Government information

Other government information

Law Council of Australia & jurisdiction updates

The Law Council of Australia will regularly update their page as resources become available.

  • Interstate law societies:

World Health Organization (WHO)

WHO gives real-time updates regarding the Covid-19 situation from across the globe and gives a range of information including how to protect yourself. Page is updated daily with developments.

Your health & wellbeing

Your health and wellbeing as well as that of your co-workers and families may come under strain in the coming months and that is completely understandable given the worldwide situation.

You are not alone. Please reach out and contact someone.

LawCare: Caring for the legal profession in the NT

Note that EASA is currently offering assistance via video-link.

The Society funds a professional, confidential and free counselling service for our members and their immediate family, provided through Employee Assistance Service Australia (EASA).

If you are experiencing workplace, personal or emotional issues which are affecting your work or personal life, please call LawCare via the EASA Program 24-hour support line on 1800 193 123 or visit their website at www.easa.org.au.

When booking an appointment, please inform the operator that you are a Law Society NT member.

This service is completely confidential. The Society will only receive statistical information on the numbers accessing the service.

Additional support:

Further resources

To prepare your workplace and home, please make use of these resources.

Health.gov.au provides list of resources in English about Covid-19, including fact sheets, guidelines and other publications: Go to page.

DON'T PANIC: Building community resilience amid pandemic

A free webcast series focusing on disaster, emergency management and community resilience will be run by Charles Darwin University’s Northern Institute starting this week (Thursday 26 March, 10.30 am).

“At a time of much uncertainty, these seminars aim to provide factual perspectives and information from key experts,” Professor Wallace said.

“Our aim is to keep our community informed, reassured and prepared. We hope the webcasts will help to answer people’s questions, deliver the facts and provide relevant information to help our communities remain resilient at this challenging time,” she said.

The webcasts will be held weekly. More information can be found here.

Law Society NT news and updates

 

COVID-19 SAFETY PLAN

Written Friday 11 June 2020

The Society has prepared the office premesis to meet health/safety requirements to ensure the wellbeing of both staff/visitors and as a result, has developed a COVID-19 Safety Plan.

On Tuesday 9 June 2020, the Society underwent a site inspection and was deemed compliant.

View the Statement of Committment here.

The Society asks that that all visitors to the office please be mindful of the 1.5 metre physical distancing requirement and to make use of the hand sanitisation stations located throughout the premesis.

 

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ADVICE 3: PRACTISING CERTIFICATE RENEWALS AND FEES

Written Wednesday 29 April 2020

The Law Society Northern Territory is aware of the impact that COVID-19 is having on legal practitioners and firms across the Northern Territory.

The Society has been looking at measures that may assist the local legal profession where possible and notes steps taken in other Australian jurisdictions to support and provide financial and other assistance.

Northern Territory annual practising certificate fees and the Legal Practitioners Fidelity Fund annual contribution are not set by the Society but are determined each year by a statutory process under the Legal Profession Act 2006. Membership of the Society is included as part of the practising certificate fee.

This means that the Society has no ability to reduce practising certificate fees or Society membership fees as has been occurring in other jurisdictions.

The Society is however considering other measures that it may be able to take to support the local profession including financial support in the form of a free CPD program. Further information regarding this initiative will be provided in the near future.

The Society also reminds practitioners of its free confidential LawCare counselling service offered through Employee Assistance Service Australia which can be accessed on 1800 193 123.

In addition the Society fully appreciates the difficulties being experienced by some practitioners and firms throughout the Northern Territory due to COVID-19 and welcomes contact from practitioners to increase its awareness of these issues and any potential responses.

 

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ADVICE 2: CURRENT ARRANGEMENTS IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19

Written Friday 27 March 2020

The Law Society NT continues to closely monitor the developing COVID-19 situation with a view to ensure it takes all action required to protect the health and wellbeing of the profession, Society staff and anyone entering its premises. Set out below are the arrangements to be put in place by the Society as from Monday 30 March 2020.

Law Society NT office

Please note that whilst the Society remains operational, as from Monday 30 March 2020, many of its staff will be working from home.

As a result, from Monday 30 March 2020, the Society’s office will be closed to visitors until further notice.

Throughout this period, the Society can still be contacted by telephone and email and will continue to undertake and offer all its operational functions. The closure of this office will mean that there will be no face-to-face events, CPDs or visitor contact. Physical deliveries may be received by prior arrangement if necessary.

CPD arrangements

The Society reminds everyone that their Annual CPD Certificates are due on Tuesday 31 March 2020.

As previously advised, the Society recognises that for the current CPD year, members may need (or choose) to complete more than five of their CPD units through private study of audio/visual material. As a result, for the 2019-20 CPD year only, the Society will not be enforcing the five-unit cap on private study of audio/visual material as set out in the CPD Guide for Practitioners.

Members are encouraged to view the Society’s DVD listings and order CPD DVDs, click here to download the order form.

For any information regarding your CPD certificates please still continue to contact Leonie Stokes, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

At this time, it is the intention of the Society to continue to provide scheduled and schedule new CPDs though these will be provided through Zoom and not face-to-face until further notice. This arrangement is subject to change. Updates will be provided as and when required.

Future updates

Please note that the Law Society NT will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation as it develops and will provides updates as required.

In the meantime, please refer to information provided on the Secure NT or the Federal Department of Health websites via the links below. Secure NT also have a Facebook page which provides up to date and accurate information.

 

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LAW WEEK 2020 CANCELLED

Written Friday 27 February 2020

Due to the evolving situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Council has decided to cancel Law Week. All activities will be cancelled with the exception of Ethical Pursuit with Julian Morrow, which will be re-scheduled once operations return to normal.

 

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EXTERNAL EXAMINATION (EE) REPORTS

Written Friday 27 March 2020

The Society acknowledges the impact that COVID-19 will have on law practices over the coming months. Many law practice offices may be closed as staff are encouraged to work from home in line with social-distancing requirements. It is understood that this is likely to present difficulties for practices in allowing their appointed external examiner the physical access required to highly confidential trust accounting records and related files often kept in law practice offices. These files often cannot be removed from offices and are necessary for external examiners to carry out the annual review required under the Legal Profession Act 2006.

In light of these circumstances, the Council of the Society has adopted a policy that it will not take regulatory action in relation to law practices which submit their EE report by 1 September 2020, being within 3 months of the due date of 1 June 2020. Law practices are encouraged to comply with the current due date where possible but this concession is effective immediately and will be subject to review as the COVID-19 situation develops.

 

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ADVICE 1: CURRENT ARRANGEMENTS IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19

Written Wednesday 18 March 2020

The Law Society NT is closely monitoring the developing COVID-19 situation with a view to ensure it takes all action required to protect the health and wellbeing of the profession, Law Society staff and anyone entering its premises. Set out below are the current arrangements put in place by the Society.

Law Society NT office

Please note that the Law Society NT office remains open for business.

However, if you have travelled overseas in the past 14 days, have come into direct contact with coronavirus or live with someone who has, the Law Society NT respectfully requests that you do not enter its premises at 3/6 Lindsay Street, Darwin.

If this applies to you, please call your Law Society NT contact or Reception on 08 8981 5104 to reschedule your meeting.

CPD arrangements

The Law Society NT is continuing to monitor both Federal and Northern Territory Government information and updates and in particular notes the most recent advice relating to gatherings of less than 100 people.

Notwithstanding this advice and based on an assessment utilising the recently released NT Health COVID-19 Risk Assessment Tool, the Society has made the decision to continue to provide face-to-face CPDs.

Whilst you can attend in person, we do remind everyone that you can attend CPDs via zoom. To register for a zoom ticket, select the 'ZOOM' ticket option. The Zoom link will be sent to you the day prior to the CPD. For any queries regarding CPD events please contact the Society's Events & CPD Coordinator, Carolyn Zombolas This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Given the current special circumstances, the Society recognises that members may need (or choose) to complete more than five of their CPD units through private study of audio/visual material. As a result, for the 2019-20 CPD year only, the Society will not be enforcing the five-unit cap on private study of audio/visual material as set out in the CPD Guide for Practitioners.

Members are encouraged to view the Society’s DVD listings and order CPD DVDs, click here to download the order form.

Future updates

Please note that the Law Society NT will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation as it develops and will provides updates as required.

In the meantime, please refer to information provided on the Secure NT or the Federal Department of Health websites via the links below.

Secure NT also have a Facebook page which provides up to date and accurate information.

For any information regarding your CPD certificates please still continue to contact the Society's Licensing Officer, Leonie Stokes This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Last modified: 11/06/2020 11:54 AM

Office details

Office: 3/6 Lindsay St. Darwin NT 0800
Post: GPO Box 2388 Darwin NT 0801
ABN: 62 208 314 893

Contact

Telephone: (08) 8981 5104
Email: lawsoc@lawsocietynt.asn.au

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