Family Court Rules 2002

416Z Directions conference


The purpose of a directions conference is to enable a Judge to make the orders and give the directions that are necessary to ensure that the hearing takes place as early as possible and will enable the determination of the issues in dispute between the parties.


At the conclusion of a directions conference, unless subclause (3) applies, the Judge—




settle the issues to be determined at the hearing; and


identify any witnesses who are required for cross-examination; and


approve a timetable for filing and serving any further evidence; and


may require the applicant to prepare and file an agreed bundle of documents (which must be paginated) and direct that the costs of preparing that bundle be shared equally between the parties.


If no respondent (being a person who has been served with the application and required to attend the conference) has filed a notice of response within the required time,—


the Judge may treat the conference as a hearing and may determine the application at that time; and


if a respondent attends the conference, rule 42 (which sets out when a respondent may be heard) applies as if the conference were a hearing.


If it appears that some or all of the issues in dispute can be determined by way of a submissions-only hearing, the Judge must direct that a submissions-only hearing be held (see rule 416ZG).


If the proceedings are on the without notice track, the period between the directions conference and any subsequent hearing must, where reasonably practicable, be not more than 3 weeks.

Rule 416Z: inserted, on 31 March 2014, by rule 42 of the Family Courts Amendment Rules (No 2) 2014 (LI 2014/4).