At 6:00pm (Australian WST) today, Perth Metro area, Peel district and South-West WA will go into full lockdown until 6:00pm Friday after a security guard contracted the virus while working at the Sheraton 4-Seasons hotel in Perth.
The source is believed to be a person who recently returned from the UK quarantining at the hotel. WA has not had any community spread for 10 months.
A Legal Perspective and How Will the Courts Respond
It would be trite to say that this single outbreak underlines the importance of strict border controls and even stricter quarantine protocols. From a legal perspective, the question is how the courts intend responding to the situation in the coming week.
At the time of posting this blog, lawyers were in limbo as to how the courts intended to proceed. There are a number of ways to keep the courts moving.
How to Keep the Court System Moving
For simple remands:
1) Adjourn All Matters;
2) Allow lawyers and clients only to attend in person;
3) All Appearance by Telephone with Lawyers Arranging with Their Clients to Telephone Them in the Morning of Their Appearance to “Answer Their Bail”.
For magistrate only trials, the accused has to be present in court so that rules out 3 above. For jury trials members of the jury are selected from the wider population so with lockdown rules an adjournment may be the only option.
The blog will be updated as further information comes to hand. If you are in need of advice from an experienced criminal lawyer during this lockdown, then please get in touch right away.