List member Felicity Gerry QC has published a new article via The Conversation.
"Last month, Victoria swiftly pushed through a bill introducing judge-only criminal trials as a short-term measure to tackle the absence of court sittings during the coronavirus lockdown.
The new law, which was cautiously welcomed by the state Criminal Bar Association, puts Victoria in line with other states that already have judge-only trials as a permanent option.
The ACT also passed an emergency bill last week approving judge-only trials temporarily.
In Victoria and other states, there is a requirement for the accused person to consent to such a trial. The new ACT law, however, allows a judge to order such a trial whether the accused agrees or not. This was not welcomed by the Law Council of Australia and is now the subject of a constitutional challenge."