Administrative Notice NSW 1

This Administrative Notice is REVOKED

On 25 October 2016, as part of the National Court Framework (NCF) reforms, all existing Administrative Notices were revoked and 26 new national practice notes were issued, effective immediately.

There will no longer be any administrative state-based notices.

To assist Court users to understand the changes to the practice documents, the Court has prepared:

Duty Judge Matters

New South Wales District Registry

RTF version (36.9 kb)

1.    This Notice sets out the administrative arrangements relating to the handling of Duty Judge matters within the New South Wales District Registry of the Federal Court and replaces the Administrative Notice NSW 1 issued on 25 September 2009.

Role of Duty Judge

2.    The Duty Judge’s role is to deal with those applications that are so urgent that they cannot be satisfactorily accommodated within the ordinary system of filing in the Registry and random allocation to a Docket Judge. Some examples of such applications include:

  • abridgment of time for service of originating process;
  • interlocutory injunctions to operate pending the final hearing and determination of a proceeding;
  • Freezing Orders
  • Search Orders

Identity of Duty Judge

3.     The duty period of the Duty Judge is one week at a time from Monday to Sunday. The identity of the Duty Judge is determined by roster and is available online at the top of the daily Court list and also on the notice boards on Level 3 of the Law Courts Building.

Approaching the Duty Judge: general

4.     Contact details for the associate to the Duty Judge are published in the daily court list (online).  During business hours, members of the profession may approach the Duty Judge through his or her associate.  Applications may also be made to the Duty Judge while he or she is in court. If an inquirer who is a member of the profession, telephones chambers while the Duty Judge is in court, the Duty Judge’s executive assistant will refer the inquirer to the court-room where the inquirer can, through the court officer, establish contact with the Duty Judge’s associate. If the inquirer is a litigant in person, the associate will refer him or her to the Registry – see (8) below.

Out of hours applications

5.    Outside business hours (including on weekends and public holidays), inquirers in relation to urgent matters should contact the Law Courts Building’s Security Desk on (02) 9230 8025. The telephone number for the Security Desk is also published daily. The Security Desk will refer any inquirer to a Registrar who will then make arrangements to communicate with the Duty Judge.

Urgent applications in docketed matters

6.    Where an urgent application is to be made in a proceeding already allocated to a particular judge’s docket, the Docket Judge should be approached in the first instance. The Docket Judge will be approached first even if the matter arises through the Duty Registrar outside business hours. Only if the Docket Judge is not available to deal with the matter should an approach be made to the Duty Judge.

Approaching the Duty Judge: litigants in person

7.     A litigant in person who telephones the Duty Judge’s associate or wishes to approach the Duty Judge in court may need preliminary assistance, for instance in relation to the nature of the application and the appropriateness of the documentation. For this reason the associate will direct the litigant in person to the Registry in the first instance. Court officers are trained to take litigants in person who seek to approach the Duty Judge in court, to the Registry for the same purpose.

Handling of urgent applications

8.     A proceeding is not normally allocated to the docket of the Duty Judge who deals with an urgent application in the proceeding, but in the usual way is allocated randomly to the next Docket Judge.  The matter will be stood over before that Docket Judge or, where that judge is unable to deal with the any urgent issues in the matter, then only by arrangement might an urgent issue be listed before a future duty judge.

9.     Sometimes it is desirable, instead of giving interlocutory relief, to give an early final hearing. This can be achieved in either of two ways. First, the Duty Judge may find it possible and appropriate to give an early final hearing himself or herself. Alternatively, the Duty Judge may ascertain from the Docket Judge for the proceeding the earliest dates that Judge has available, and, with the consent of that Judge, fix the proceeding for final hearing before him or her.

10.   Where an urgent application is made in relation to a matter in a Specialist Panel and the Duty Judge is not a member of that Panel, it is possible that the urgent application will raise difficult issues of a specialist nature which the Duty Judge may think would be better determined by a member of the Panel. In such a case, the Duty Judge may make arrangements to that end.

11.   If an application is made to the Duty Judge in a new proceeding and the hearing before a Duty Judge ends during business hours, the applicant will be required to file documents in the Registry in the usual way. The proceeding will then be allocated to a Docket Judge in accordance with the normal procedure for the random allocation of new matters.

12.   Where the originating application or interlocutory application by which an urgent application is made has not previously been filed the document should normally be filed in the Registry before approaching the Duty Judge. In cases of extreme urgency leave may be given for a document to be filed in court upon an undertaking being given by the moving party’s legal representative (by name) to pay the relevant filing fee.

13.   When a Duty Judge’s orders call for immediate Registry action, such as the sealing and entering of orders made, the papers are sent to the Registry immediately following the hearing. Where the application is not concluded within business hours, the associate makes appropriate arrangements with the Duty Registrar. These include advising the Duty Registrar before 5.30 pm of the likelihood that the application will not be concluded until after that time.


14.   Urgent applications involving Corporations Law matters should be made to the Corporations Judge in accordance with the Administrative Notice NSW 2 “Corporations Matters”.


15.   Urgent applications in Admiralty should be made to the NSW Admiralty Procedure Judge or another member of the Admiralty panel in accordance with Practice Note ADM1 “Admiralty and Maritime Work in the Federal Court of Australia”.

Arrangements outside the Court sitting period

16.   The role of a Duty Judge, whose period of duty is during the non-sitting period of the Court, is to deal with matters that would otherwise fall to be dealt with by the Duty Judge and the Corporations Judge if made at any other time. An initial question will be whether the application should be entertained at all outside the Court Sittings.  Parties are required to prepare an affidavit to allow the Duty Judge to assess the necessity for the matter to be heard during this period.  Details of the sitting times of the Court are to be found in Practice Note Gen 1 “Court Sittings and Registry hours” issued 1 August 2011 by the Chief Justice.


Michael Wall
NSW District Registrar
2 August 2011

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