At the first directions hearing

Venue, date and time

The first directions hearing will usually be held 28 days after the date the application was filed. It will be conducted by either a registrar (for matters in Classes 1 and 2) or the List Judge (for matters in Class 3) 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. 

Information about the listing can also be seen:

Completed minute of proposed directions      

The applicant and respondent are to hand to the Court at the first directions hearing 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 (paragraph 29 of the Practice Note).​ 

These directions should be based on the usual directions in Schedule B to thePractice Note:

If the parties do not agree, each party should prepare their own version of the directions they propose (paragraph 29 of the ​Practice Note).​


Arranging conciliation

Miscellaneous appeals are usually appropriate to be resolved through conciliation rather than a court hearing. Conciliation is undertaken with a commissioner of the Court, usually with knowledge and expertise in the subject matter and issues raised in the appeal. Information is available on conciliation. The registrar or the List Judge will fix a conciliation conference, for short matters, before the Duty Commissioner on the next available Friday, or for other matters, within 14 days, subject to the availability of the Court and commissioners (paragraph 31 of the Practice Note). If the parties consider conciliation would not be appropriate for the particular appeal, they will need to give their reasons for that view to the registrar or the List Judge (paragraph 30 of the Practice Note). The registrar or the List Judge may still direct a conciliation conference after having considered the parties’ reasons.

Applying for leave to adduce expert evidence

This applies only if you are seeking a hearing date at the first directions hearing. Any party intending to adduce expert evidence at the hearing of any development appeal must apply for directions from the Court under Pt 31 r 31.19 of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 permitting the adducing of expert evidence. 

The application for directions is to be made at a directions hearing at which the development appeal is listed for hearing.

The application is to be supported by a completed information sheet, outlining the issues in the proceedings, the experts whose opinion is sought to be adduced as evidence in the proceedings, and the areas of expertise of each expert. At the hearing of the application for directions, the party seeking directions is to explain the expert evidence sought to be adduced and why the use of that expert evidence should be permitted, including why that expert evidence relates to a real issue in the proceedings and is reasonably required to resolve that issue.​


Completed information sheets

If the parties are seeking hearing dates, they are to hand to the Court at the first directions hearing their completed Classes 1, 2 and 3 Miscellaneous Appeals Information Sheets (paragraph 36 of the Practice Note). These sheets assist the registrar or the List Judge to make directions that are appropriate to the particular circumstances of the matter and the parties.

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Making and recording directions

The registrar or the List Judge will make directions, generally in accordance with the usual directions at first directions hearing, including fixing a date for conciliation (if appropriate) and for the second directions hearing, and directing the applicant and respondent to file and serve their statements of facts and contentions in accordance with Schedule A of the Practice Note. The registrar or the List Judge will state the directions orally. It is important that the parties record the directions the registrar or the List Judge makes. A written copy of the directions made is not usually sent to the parties.

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