When someone is required to attend Court as a witness and they live somewhere other than where the Court is to be held, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) or the Northern Territory Police (Police) will make reasonable arrangements for you to attend by assisting with your travel to and from Court. They will cover the cost for this.
Where the witness is a child, arrangements will be made for an appropriate responsible adult to travel with them and the cost of this will be covered by the DPP or Police.
In some circumstances and where the technology is available, witnesses may be able to give evidence through a video conferencing facility rather than having to travel. If a witness thinks this may be an appropriate option for them, they should contact the Prosecutor or the Witness Assistance Service on Freecall 1800 659 449 to discuss this. This needs to be done as early as possible as an application needs to be made to the Court to allow this and for a booking to be made at their local facility.
If you reside in either a remote locality or outside of the Northern Territory and have to travel by plane all flights will be booked in economy. The DPP travel clerk will arrange the flights bookings and payment after you contact them to discuss dates and times of your travel. Your subpoena or summons will have the contact details of the DPP travel clerk. You must show photo identification at the airport to prove your identity.
If you reside in the Northern Territory where possible travel will usually be by bus. The DPP travel clerk will arrange the booking and payment after you contact them to discuss dates and times of your travel. Your subpoena or summons will have the contact details of the DPP travel clerk. You must show photo identification when boarding the bus to prove your identity.
Witnesses will usually be booked on the airport shuttle bus, for travel to and from the airport from their home and accommodation unless you arrange for taxi vouchers to be sent to you.
If a witness wants to have their own vehicle for travel, they may claim the cost of trip if they are required to travel more than 40 kilometres from their normal residence to attend court. A kilometre allowance for travelling by personal vehicle may be payable.
To claim this, the witness needs to read the Witness Expenses - Information Sheet to see if they are eligible and complete a Witness Expense Claim Form and Vendor Form . This money will only be paid once the travel is completed and the appropriate forms have been submitted. Where one or more witnesses might travel together in their own vehicle, payment will only be to one person to cover the cost of the trip.
If you need to take public transport to court, the cost of your ticket will be reimbursed.
If you are required to stay overnight, or you are away from home for more than 12 hours, you will receive a meal allowance.
You are entitled to all of the following:
For witnesses under 12 years old, the meal allowance is halved.
If you order your meals with the hotel, you should book your meals against your room number and the cost will be covered as part of the accommodation. If you eat outside the hotel you should keep and submit receipts, providing it is not more than the allowable amount, it will be reimbursed. You will be expected to pay for all other hotel costs such as phone calls or watching movies.
To arrange for travel and accommodation you must contact the relevant Travel Officer at least 2 weeks prior to the Court hearing date. The numbers to call are:
Darwin: Freecall - 1800628720 / (08) 89858314
Alice Springs: Freecall - 1800628407 / (08) 89515797
Witnesses do not receive any payment for being a witness, however it is not expected that they should incur any major cost in having to attend Court either. Therefore witnesses may claim costs such as the loss of wages for the time they are required if they have had to take unpaid leave from work to attend.
Witnesses will need to complete a Witness Expense Claim Form and provide this to the appropriate prosecutor or Witness Assistance Service Officer. If a witness requires assistance to complete the forms, they should contact the Witness Assistance Service on Freecall 1800 659 449.