This edition was issued on 17 December 2021
Welcome to the final edition of Personal Injury Commission News for 2021.
This edition includes the announcement of the Commission’s new Division Head, Workers Compensation Division, links to comprehensive guidance material regarding federally impacted matters, information about the Commission’s Christmas closedown arrangements and a reminder that applications for Mediator positions that are currently being recruited close next week.
As we now come to the end of almost the second year of dealing with the dreadful COVID-19 pandemic, it is worth reflecting on what we have achieved and what is ahead. Notwithstanding the difficulties of remote working, IT challenges, lockdowns and the necessity for the community to be vaccinated, the Commission and all its users have pitched in magnificently. If you were an injured worker or a motor accident victim, whatever other worries you might have, not having your case heard was not one of those concerns. Whilst problems have arisen and during the lockdown over 2,000 in-person medical assessments were delayed, the Commission, in partnership with the Bar Association and Law Society, has worked collaboratively to find new ways of contending with these challenges. Needless to say, everybody’s IT skills have improved dramatically.
At the time of this Christmas message however, the latest variant of this virus has reached our shores and it remains unclear what this means for our community. However, one thing does remain certain and that is that no matter the twists and turns that are left in this pandemic, the Commission and its users will find a way to keep going. This is a tribute to the skill, ingenuity and commitment to public service of all concerned.
Hopefully 2022 will be a better year than the last. At the Commission there will be further change on the horizon. Currently, our renovation of our 1 Oxford Street premises is in full swing. I expect to be welcoming the staff back in late February, and if the program is met, opening courtrooms for in-person hearings from late March onwards. Obviously, the pandemic has disrupted supply chains and it remains to be seen how much of an effect this will have upon our fit-out, particularly with respect to our technology needs. But that is the current program.
The tender for the Commission’s single IT case management platform is now complete. In the new year I expect to be announcing the successful tenderer and we will begin discussions with our stakeholder groups about the process to be embarked upon. As you all know, there have been some challenges with the case management system this year in Motor Accidents, however the implementation of the new system will hopefully consign those issues to the past.
I hope you and your families have a very merry Christmas, a peaceful and restful holiday period and I look forward to welcoming you to the Commission in 2022.
Judge Gerard Phillips
New Division Head, Workers Compensation Division Appointed
As you will recall from an earlier edition of Personal Injury Commission News, Mr Rod Parsons, Division Head, Workers Compensation Division, has announced his retirement.
I am pleased to advise that the Attorney General has announced this week that Mr Glenn Capel has been appointed as the Commission’s new Division Head, Workers Compensation Division. He will assume the role at Rod’s retirement early next year.
Glenn is a vastly experienced workers compensation practitioner, who brings with him a wealth of knowledge from his long history as a decision maker of the Workers Compensation Commission and as a Senior Member of the Personal Injury Commission.
I look forward to the contribution he will make in what is a very important role within the Commission.
Comprehensive Federal Jurisdiction Guidance Material Now Available
To further assist the legal profession in identifying applications that may be impacted by federal jurisdiction and understanding the process to follow, I have recorded a brief video that provides further context on the subject. You can view the video here.
The Commission has also created a dedicated information section regarding federal jurisdiction on the Commission’s website. It includes a link to the District Court form you need to file in order to obtain your determination under section 26, plus some relevant authorities such as Ritchie v the Nominal Defendant, Attorney General for New South Wales v Gatsby and an opinion issued by one of our Members in Ritson v State of New South Wales.
Please familiarise yourself with this comprehensive material which I hope you will find to be of assistance.
Reminder: Christmas/New Year Closedown – Key Dates
The Commission will be operating with reduced staffing from Monday 27 December 2021 to Friday 7 January 2022, with only a small team of frontline staff working remotely across the period.
The key dates and information related to the Commission’s various listings and functions across the period are now available for your reference on the Commission’s website here.
Applications for Mediator Positions Close on 23 December 2021
The Commission is seeking to appoint suitably qualified and experienced individuals to provide mediation services in the Workers Compensation Division, as required by legislation.
The appointments are for:
- Mediators for sessional work
- Appointment for up to three years, with eligibility for re-appointment.
The position advertisement is available on iWork for NSW. Applications for these positions close 09:59am on 23 December 2021.
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