Ground Rules Hearings

The Intermediary Pilot Program, which commenced on 1 July 2018, introduced the use of intermediaries and the Ground Rules Hearing into our courts to assist vulnerable witnesses to give evidence.

The College has produced the following video that provides best practice examples of how to conduct a Ground Rules Hearing, both with and without an intermediary. The video will take you step-by-step through the process, including the directions regarding questioning. Additional supporting materials are also included on this page to help you better understand the process.

View the full video or click on the links below to skip ahead to the desired chapter (video player will launch in a new browser window)

Chapter 1: Introduction by Chief Judge Peter Kidd
Chapter 2: Conducting a Ground Rules Hearing with an intermediary
Chapter 3: Conducting a Ground Rules Hearing without an intermediary
Chapter 4: Closing remarks by Chief Judge Peter Kidd

Supporting material

Legislation and Multi-jurisdictional Court Guide

The legislation covering Ground Rules Hearings and intermediaries is found in Part 8.2A of the Criminal Procedure Act 2009.

The Multi-jurisdictional Court Guide for the Intermediary Pilot Program provides practical information on working with intermediaries and conducting a Ground Rules Hearing, including directions. It is intended to be read in conjunction with the legislation.

Intermediary Assessment Report and Visual Aids

The Intermediary Assessment Report, which is referred to in the video, provides important information about the communication needs of the witness.

Copies of the following visual aids are referred to in the video and referenced in the Intermediary Assessment Report:

Body map (female)
Visual aid – frequency
Visual aid – rules of court


Main Navigation

JOIN Login

The Judicial Officers Information Network (JOIN) is an online resource for judicial officers and their support staff. JOIN ensures judicial officers have access to legislation, judgments, publications including benchbooks and manuals, sentencing statistics and legal reference material.

JOIN is for work use only. All users must agree to the terms and conditions before using it. The Judicial College supplies and manages the username and password.