Aboriginal land claims - At the first directions hearing
Venue, date and time
The first directions hearing will usually be held on a Friday. It will usually be held 8 weeks after the summons was filed. It will be conducted by the List Judge, in a court in the Court’s building at 225 Macquarie Street, Sydney. The location of the Court and the precise time of the day when the directions hearing will occur will be shown on the Court Lists posted on a notice board in the foyer of the building and on the Court’s website under Court Lists in the afternoon of the day before the directions hearing. The Sydney Morning Herald may also (but does not always) publish the Court Lists on the morning of the date set for the directions hearing.
At the first directions hearing, the Crown Lands Minister is to advise the Court of the public authorities, public officials or other persons to whom the Minister has already issued subpoenas and the response to those subpoenas. The Minister is to hand to the Court a list of further persons to whom the Minister wishes to issue subpoenas.
The parties are to hand to the Court an agreed or their own versions of a minute of the directions they propose the Court should make to prepare the matter and facilitate the just, quick and cheap resolution of the appeal.
Making and recording directions
The List Judge will make directions, generally in accordance with the usual directions at the first directions hearing, including directing and fixing a date:
- by which the Crown Lands Minister is to issue subpoenas to the further persons identified by the Minister
- for the Minister to prepare, file with the Court and serve on the applicant the Minister’s statement of facts and contentions
- for the Minister to prepare, file with the Court and serve on the applicant the Minister’s evidence in chief, including affidavits and a bundle of documents
- for the second directions hearing.
Directions for formal discovery and interrogatories will only be made in exceptional circumstances and will generally be confined to particular issues. A party seeking such directions must provide the Court with a draft list of categories of documents to be discovered or draft interrogatories.
The List Judge will state the directions orally. It is important that the parties record the directions the List Judge makes. A written copy of the directions made is not usually sent to the parties.