Supreme Court Practice Note No SC CL 8

[10-270] Supreme Court Common Law Division – Media Access to Sexual Assault Proceedings Heard in Camera


1. This Practice Note commences 1 December 2005.


2. This Practice note applies to proceedings under Part 2A of the Criminal Procedure Act 1986.


3. None applicable.


4. The purpose of this Practice Note is:

  • to provide arrangements under s291C(2) of the Criminal Procedure Act 1986 for the media to access sexual assault proceedings heard in camera

Media representatives to contact the registrar

5. In circumstances where s291C(2) applies, and such arrangements are sought, the media representative should contact the registrar of the court where the proceedings are to be held.

6. Upon application by a media representative, the registrar will discuss with the media representative the reasonable and practical options available. Wherever possible, the application is to be made prior to the date of hearing. The longer the period of notice given to the registrar the more likely it will be that a practical arrangement can be made.

7. The registrar will discuss with the media representative the options available and then provide a written report to the court advising what is reasonably practical to provide pursuant to s 291C(2). The court will then determine what arrangements should be made and these will usually be announced in court.

Responsibility for costs incurred

8. Any additional costs incurred in making arrangements pursuant to s 291C(2) are to be met by the media representative (eg cost of installing live audio/visual feeds, cost of a sheriff/court officer to supervise access to a remote audio/visual feed, cost of providing a real time or a daily transcript). The registrar may require an undertaking to be given by the media representative to pay the additional costs.

Electronic recordings not to be made

9. If the media is given electronic access to the evidence, the media must not make an electronic recording of the proceedings.

JJ Spigelman AC

Chief Justice of the New South Wales

1 December 2005

Related information

Practice Note SC CL 8 was issued and commenced on 1 December 2005.