COVID-19 (Coronavirus) update for Department of Justice

News story
If you are unable to attend a mandatory or crucial appointment due to health reasons, contact the relevant area to make alternative arrangements.

COVID-19

The Western Australian Government has released a COVID-19 roadmap which outlines a number of restrictions to be relaxed from 18 May 2020.

At the Department of Justice, we are continuing to provide critical services with a focus on delivering a fair, just and safe community for all Western Australians.

Our Departmental Emergency Response Group and Corrective Services Taskforce remain in place to manage the Department’s response to COVID-19 across its 10 business divisions.

While we are still serving the public, the health and wellbeing of staff, people in our care and users of our services and facilities remains the priority during this time.

This means that some restrictions, including those around the custodial environment, will remain in place and will only be lifted when it is safe to do so.

For information about COVID-19 measures that are impacting service delivery, refer to the relevant area below.

Corrective Services

Show more

Prisons and the Banksia Hill Detention Centre

Social visits to Western Australian prisons and the Banksia Hill Detention Centre will remain suspended for now.

The strict rules implemented by Corrective Services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have been effective thus far in ensuring no confirmed cases in any of our prisons or the detention centre.

It is important to remember that the highly infectious nature of COVID-19 presents a particular challenge in the custodial environment and could spread rapidly putting many vulnerable people in our care and our staff at risk.

As such, restrictions will remain in place until it is deemed safe for them to be lifted in this specific environment.

We understand that the suspension of social visits is difficult for people in custody and their friends and family and we will continue to provide free phone calls and additional mail so that important connections can be maintained.

Read our Frequently Asked Questions for more information about how Corrective Services is working to help family and friends stay in touch, and the other measures implemented to keep prisoners, detainees and staff safe during this time.

Adult Community Corrections and Youth Justice Centres

Adults and young people serving a sentence in the community are required to follow Government directives and health advice. 

If you are unwell you will need to speak with your Case Management Officer, or a Centre near you over the phone to make arrangements. 

To find your nearest Centre, refer to the Interactive Map

Court and Tribunal Services

Show more

Courts and Tribunals have measures in place to mitigate the risks posed by COVID-19 to the judiciary, our employees and all Court and Tribunal users.

Listing practices and restrictions on public gallery capacities remain in place, along with population limits on all courtrooms, hearings, conferences and mediations.

Planning is underway to recommence jury trials while observing the WA Government physical distancing and increased hygiene guidelines.   Information will accompany jury summonses about the impacts of COVID-19 and how they will be managed.

If you need to contact a court or tribunal, or deal with a court or tribunal matter, please refer to the relevant court or tribunal website for information including registry opening hours.

Courts and Tribunals:

Fines Enforcement Registry

The Fines Enforcement Registry is offering some leeway to debtors impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Those who owe money in unpaid fines but can demonstrate financial hardship due to COVID-19 are urged to contact the Registry.

The Registry will consider a payment plan over a longer period of time, with lower than usual minimum payments.

The contact numbers are 1300 650 235 or 9235 0235 for mobiles or via email at fines@justice.wa.gov.au

More fines information is also available at www.courts.justice.wa.gov.au

Office of the Public Advocate

Show more

From 30 March 2020, we ask all visitors not to go to the Office of the Public Advocate in person. Please call ahead on 9278 7300 if you are considering visiting.

Our core statutory services will continue to be provided via alternative contact arrangements, including investigation work related to applications before the State Administrative Tribunal, and decision-making where the Public Advocate is appointed as guardian.

Staff contact with clients, service providers and other parties will be made by phone, email or where available, video conferencing. Direct contact will only occur in exceptional situations and will require the approval of the Public Advocate.

While there may be further changes to our processes, we will continue to protect and promote the human rights of adults with a decision-making disability. Our staff are contactable by phone and email, and information and resources are available online.

The Office of the Public Advocate will continue to review processes in line with Government medical advice to minimise the risks presented by this virus, particularly with relation to vulnerable adults and people with a decision-making disability.

Public Trustee

Show more

The Public Trustee continues to operate Monday to Friday from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm.

Where possible, the Public Trustee will undertake all communications by email, post, telephone or video conference, rather than inviting clients to attend in person.

Refer to the Contact page for further details.

Note: Due to the high number of calls to our office at this time, you may experience long delays when telephoning. Please consider emailing us and we will respond as quickly as possible. We apologise and thank you for your patience at this challenging time.

Making or updating your Will

The Public Trustee encourages clients to consider choosing one of the following options for drafting your Will:

  • Telephone appointment
  • Videoconferencing appointment 

In circumstances where a telephone or videoconferencing appointment is not possible, face-to-face office based appointments are still available. 

WA Will Bank

  • The Public Trustee cannot accept ‘in person’ WA Will Bank deposits until further notice.
  • WA Will Bank deposits can only be made by registered post at this time.
    Postal Address - GPO Box M946 PERTH WA 6843

Events

  • All events scheduled up until 31 July 2020 have been postponed.
  • Refer to our Events page for future updates.

Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages

Show more

The Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages Public Counter and Marriage Registry has reopened, but essential services are still available via alternative contact options.

Birth and Marriage Registrations can be submitted to our PO Box.

Applications to register a Change of Name can be submitted to our PO Box or by emailing to bdm@justice.wa.gov.au.

Applications for certificates of a previously registered Birth, Death, Marriage or Change of Name can be lodged by sending the application form to our PO Box or by emailing it to bdm@justice.wa.gov.au.

When you send your request you need to:

  • Complete and sign the application form.
  • Provide copies of the relevant Proof of Identity documents.
  • Attach any other supporting documentation.
  • Complete payment details section.

If you would prefer not to provide credit card details, you will need to submit your application and cheque or money order via the post to our PO Box.

Once approved, certificates will be posted to the supplied address.

We will be accepting new marriage ceremony bookings for 25 May 2020 onward. To schedule your date contact us on 1300 305 021.

All weddings will be carried out under the WA Government’s physical distancing guidelines, and a maximum of 20 people (15 guests in addition to the couple, witnesses and celebrant) will be allowed to attend.

More information can be found on this announcement.

Victims of Crime

Show more

If you require assistance during this time you can contact the Office of the Commissioner for Victims of Crime on 9264 9877 and you will be directed to the service you need.

Page reviewed 26 May 2020
Was this information helpful?