Supreme Court of Tasmania

Supreme Court of Tasmania

Practice Direction No. 1 of 2008 (Now replaced by Practice Direction No 3/2009.

23 January 2008

The following Practice Direction is published by direction of the Chief Justice, the Honourable Justice Underwood AO, to take effect from 1 February 2008.


The Chief Justice and the Judges of the Supreme Court have determined that unless otherwise advised by a Judge:

  1. Counsel intending to seek a preliminary proceedings order are to give notice of that intention not less than 7 days prior to the directions hearing in which the request will be made.

  2. Such notice must be filed with the Supreme Court and delivered to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, or, where the DPP is the applicant, to the accused’s legal representative.

  3. Such notice must also be sent electronically1 to the relevant registry of the Supreme Court.

  4. A notice of intention to request a preliminary proceedings order must include the following information:

    a) The name of the accused, the relevant complaint number or numbers and the date of the committal order.

    b) The information required by section 331B of the Criminal Code 1924 including:

    i. the names of the witnesses sought to be questioned;

    ii.  the matter or matters in respect of which each witness is to be questioned; and

    iii. a brief statement of the reasons why the evidence of those witnesses is relevant to that matter;

    iv. in cases where the witness is an affected person within the meaning of the Justices Act 1959, a brief statement of the exceptional circumstances upon which the application will rely.

    c) An estimate of the hearing time necessary for the preliminary proceeding.

    d) A draft of the orders that the applicant wishes the court to make2.

  5. After delivery of a notice of an intention to request a preliminary proceedings order and before the directions hearing, the accused’s legal representative and Crown Counsel are to confer to identify areas of agreement or disagreement with respect to the request, and identify a tentative date upon which, and the place at which, the preliminary proceedings can be heard3.

  1. Unless otherwise advised by the registry of the Supreme Court the notice should be emailed to the relevant registry of the Court and the email addresses are:

    Hobart, "";
    Launceston, "";
    Burnie, "".

  2. A suggested form for the requested orders is as follows:


    1. During the preliminary proceedings depositions may be taken from the following witness(es):

    2. Cross examination of            is limited to the following matter(s):

  3. Unless otherwise advised by the Magistrates Court the following details apply to preliminary proceedings.

    Where the preliminary proceedings are to be heard by Magistrates (depositions for cases involving homicide, sexual offences or commonwealth offences are usually heard by Magistrates) information about possible hearing times will be available from the Court of Petty Sessions in the district where the order of committal was made. Contact should be made with the Clerk or the Magistrate who made the order of committal outside the court sitting times. As Magistrates' diaries are subject to frequent change it is recommended that tentative dates be sourced at a time near to the directions hearing.

    In other cases preliminary proceedings are heard by Justices of the Peace. Information about available hearing times in different districts will be available to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. Wider access to this information may be available in the future.