Judgments and orders
A judgment is given at the conclusion of the hearing; it is the Court’s statement of the outcome on the matters before the Court. The judgment will state the decision and the orders, for example, the Court might uphold an appeal or it might dismiss an appeal. The judgment will give reasons for making the decision. A judgment will usually outline the facts of the case, discuss the evidence and refer to legislation and case law upon which the decision is based.
At the conclusion of the hearing you will be told if the judge or commissioner is going to give an “ex tempore” decision or reserve the decision. An ex tempore decision is an oral decision given immediately or very shortly after the conclusion of the hearing. Although the decision is given orally the judgment will later be typed and given to the parties. The judgment will also be published on NSW Caselaw and the Court’s website under judgments.
If a judgment is reserved it will be written by the judge or commissioner at a later time. A reserved judgment is said to be delivered when the orders are read out in open court.
When the judgment is ready to be delivered the Court will contact the parties to advise them of the date and time that the judgment will be delivered. If the case was heard by a judge, the same judge will deliver the judgment. If the case was heard by a commissioner, the commissioner will either deliver the judgment or ask the registrar to deliver the judgment on the commissioner’s behalf.
You are welcome to attend court when the Court delivers the judgment but it is not essential. A written copy of the judgment will be given to the parties who attend court. If you do not attend court, you will be sent a copy of the judgment. The judgment will also be published on NSW Caselaw and the Court’s website under judgments, usually later on the day that it was delivered.
A court order is an order that the Court makes. Orders can be made at various stages of the case.
An interlocutory court order is an order the Court makes, usually before the final hearing of the proceedings, that does not finally dispose of the proceedings. It may direct the parties to take steps to prepare evidence or do other things to prepare for a final hearing.
A final court order finally disposes of the proceedings. It might dismiss the proceedings or grant the relief or remedies sought in the proceedings. For example, it might grant some form of approval such as a development consent. It might declare conduct to be illegal. It might order a party to do or to stop doing something. It might order a party to pay compensation or costs.
Effect of orders
Court orders are binding on parties and failure to comply with them can have serious consequences, such as being charged with contempt of court.
The type of order the Court will make depends on the type and nature of the case. More detailed information about the orders the Court may make can be found at types of cases.
How to have orders entered
In accordance with rule 7.6(2) of the Land and Environment Court Rules 2007, judgments or orders are entered by the Court when a document embodying the judgment or order is first sealed by the Registrar. The sealing of orders involves the Registrar affixing the seal of the Court on the orders.
A party wishing for orders to be sealed needs to set out the orders made by the Court in a particular form, being Form 43 under the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005, and bring the completed Form 43 to the Registry and pay the requisite fee for entering orders. The Registrar will then enter the orders.
If a judgment or order of the Court requires a person to do an act within a specified time, and the person fails to do the act as so required within the time, the judgment or order may be enforced by committal (imprisonment) of the person bound by the judgment or sequestration of that person’s property or both. If the judgment or order requires a company to do an act within a specified time and the company fails to do the act within the required time, the judgment or order may be enforced by committal (imprisonment) of any officer of the corporation or sequestration of the property of any officer of the corporation or both: Part 40 r 40.6(1) and (2) of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005.
In such circumstances, the sealed copy of the judgment or order must bear a notice that the person is liable to imprisonment and sequestration of property if the person fails to comply with the judgment or order in the time specified in the judgment or order. The person must be named in the notice: Part 40 r 40.7(3) of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005. The party requesting the entry of the judgment must include this notification on the completed Form 43 they file with the Court for the Registrar to enter the judgment or order.