Posted on April 16, 2024 by Liam Mulligan and Thuy Pham

ALERT: New Practice Notes for Class 3 Proceedings

The Chief Judge of the Land and Environment Court has published two new Practice Notes (PNs) for Class 3 proceedings in the Land and Environment Court. The two new PNs will commence on 2 April 2024.

The notes each relate to different kinds of Class 3 proceedings, being:

  • objections to valuations, under s 37 of the Valuation of Land Act 1916 (“Valuation Appeals“); and
  • claims for compensation resulting from the compulsory acquisition of land or interests in land (“Compensation Claims“).

The new PNs introduce some procedural changes, such as the introduction of “Contentions on Determination of Compensation” for Compensation Claims, in place of the former Points of Claim and Points of Defence.

However, a more substantive change in both PNs is the classification of cases into “complex” and “not complex” matters. Where a matter is determined to be “complex”, the parties will now be required to attend a case management conference prior to the s34 conference. At these conferences the parties will be required to assist the Court to discuss, and if appropriate take directions, as to:

(a) the identification of the issues that arise for determination in the proceedings;
(b) the appropriateness for mediation and or s 34 conciliation;
(c) the need for and order of witnesses to be called (should leave be granted);
(d) the seeking and granting of leave to adduce expert evidence; and
(e) any particular matters that arise due to the identified complexity of the matter.

Case management conferences are now a feature of both Compensation Appeals and Compensation Claims. The new PNs do not provide any guidance or criteria for determining whether a matter is “complex”, but do provide that the Court will determine whether a matter is complex at the first directions hearing.

Also changing is the number of usual attendances in Court prior to hearing of a Class 3 matter. Under the previous PN, Valuation Appeals would normally appear in the Class 3 list no more than twice prior to hearing. Under the new PN, a standard Valuation Appeal would involve at least five appearances in Court prior to hearing, and six appearances for a complex matter.  Similarly, previously, a Compensation Claims case was expected to be complete on no more than 5 occasions. This process is now expected to involve 6 occasions to include a case management conference for complex matter.

The new PNs of course include standard orders to be made a various milestones throughout the proceedings. The standard directions have changed in both Valuation Appeals and Compensation Claims and parties and practitioners should make sure they are familiar with the Court’s requirements prior to each appearance.

The full text of the Practice Notes can be found here.

If you have any questions regarding this article, please leave a comment below or contact Liam Mulligan on 02 8235 9715 or Thuy Pham on (02) 8235 9731.