Published: 21 November, 2023

Update to the profession: Applications for Review

This update provides important information about Applications for Review filed after 24 November 2023 in family law.

Please be advised that any Application for Review filed after 4:30pm AEDT 24 November 2023 is unlikely to be listed prior to the commencement of the Court shutdown period, being close of business, Friday 22 December 2023

Dates for hearing for Applications for Review will thereafter be listed having regard to urgency considerations and the overall business of the Court. 

In the event both parties consent to the Application for Review being heard by a Judge on the papers, without an appearance from the parties, this may be jointly requested at the time of filing. The parties are required to confer prior to the filing of any Application for Review to discuss this.

Please be reminded that the Court may list an Application for Review for hearing electronically within 48 hours’ notice being provided to the parties. Requests for an adjournment or alternative re-listing will only be considered by Chambers where jointly made and in exceptional circumstances. Failure to attend a hearing date may result in an order for costs. 

In the event that an Application for Review is filed in proceedings which are already listed for final hearing within approximately three months from the date of filing, the Application for Review will be referred to the judge hearing the substantive proceedings for a consideration of listing including whether the application should be listed at the commencement of the substantive hearing. 

Practitioners should carefully consider the need and merit of an Application for Review before it is made. So far in 2023, only 2.6% of all final order applications and interim applications finalised by Registrars have been reviewed, and of those, only 8% of the Applications for Review have been upheld or partially upheld.

The Judge hearing the Application for Review may order costs against parties and practitioners in circumstances where the Judge determines that the Application for Review is frivolous or without merit, or where there has been non-compliance with the Rules of the Court. 

Practitioners and parties are reminded of the overarching purpose of the Court and the Central Practice Direction – Family Law Case Management, together with past judgments (some of which are listed below) when considering whether an Application for Review will be filed.