When may the principal registrar commence contempt proceedings?

The principal registrar may initiate an action for contempt for unacceptable behaviour on referral of an issue by the president, tribunal member, adjudicator, mediator or registry official.

In these matters the principal registrar may instruct the Crown Law office to advise on and prosecute the matter.

If a decision is made that a contempt matter should be commenced, the principal registrar will file an application with particulars of the charge of contempt and any supporting documents, serve the documents on the respondent and any other relevant parties, schedule a directions hearing and notify all parties of the hearing.

Only a judicial member of the tribunal may hear and determine contempt proceedings.

At the directions hearing the judicial member may make orders about how the matter will proceed. For example:

  • if the respondent admits to the alleged conduct, the judicial member may make final orders at that time or adjourn the matter before orders are made
  • the judicial member may set a timetable leading to a final hearing.