Agents can represent parties before the Warden at initial hearings without leave

Amendments to Mining Regulations 1981 developed following stakeholder feedback
Date: Wednesday, 19 August 2020

As a result of recent amendments to the Mining Regulations 1981, parties appearing before the Warden in the early stages of Part IV Proceedings can be represented by either a lawyer or an agent without seeking special leave.

Part IV Proceedings relate to applications or objections under Part IV of the Mining Act 1978, including applications for mining tenements, forfeiture, exemption from expenditure conditions and restoration.

Amendments to the regulations, published in the Government Gazette in July this year, were developed after examining the views of key stakeholders, including the Chief Magistrate.

The amendments entitle people or commercial entities to be represented by an agent who is not a lawyer at the initial stage of proceedings, known as mention hearings, without seeking the leave of the Warden.

Parties are still required to obtain the leave of the Warden due to exceptional circumstances to be represented by an agent who is not a lawyer at an interlocutory or substantive hearing.

The leave must be sought at least 14 days before the first hearing at which the agent will represent the party.

A party wishing to be represented by either an agent or a lawyer must lodge a Notice of Representation or Change in Representation with the Warden’s Officer or Mining Registrar where the matter is being held.

The notice must be lodged in person, by post, by email or through the Mineral Titles Online system, as soon as practicable before the first hearing at which the lawyer or agent will represent the party.

The Notice of Representation form includes an acknowledgement form that is required to be signed by the party if they are being represented by an agent.

The acknowledgement informs the party of the differences between being represented by a lawyer and an agent who is not legally qualified.

More information about the Warden’s Court is available on the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety website.