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Practice Direction 13 of 2020 issued

CRIMINAL DIVISION COVID-19 DIVERSION

This Practice Direction is issued pursuant to Section 592 of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005.

The Children's Court of Victoria commenced hearing diversion hearings 'on the papers' pursuant to Section 420ZL of the Criminal Procedure Act 2009 on 5 May 2020 in accordance with Practice Direction No. 4 of 2020. This Practice Direction modifies the process for the hearing of diversion proceedings ‘on the papers’ and will operate with effect from 18 August 2020. Practice Direction No. 4 of 2020 is revoked.

Pursuant to Division 3A of Part 5.2 of Chapter 5 of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005, at any time before taking a formal plea from a child in a criminal proceeding for an offence, the Court may adjourn the proceeding to allow the child to participate in and complete a diversion program.

Pursuant to Section 420ZL of the Criminal Procedure Act 2009, the Court may decide any issue in a criminal proceeding, other than a prescribed issue, entirely on the basis of written submissions and without the appearance of the parties if the Court is satisfied it is in the interests of justice to do so.

Download a copy of the Practice Direction here.