In this blog article, the team at Hetherington discuss the purpose and meaning of the Warden’s Court in Western Australia. It’s important to note that this blog article contains general knowledge, and if you are seeking tailored legal advice regarding your rights and obligations under mining law, you should contact our team directly. With offices in across the country, we have a specialist legal services team to assist you wherever you work. You can contact our expert mining law team directly on 02 9967 4844 (Sydney) or 08 9228 9977 (Perth).
The primary role of the Warden’s Court in Western Australia is to assist with the management and dealing of disputes relating to the mining sector. The Warden’s Court has a range of functions to handle the delicacies of mining disputes and matters relating to mining tenements. Some of the key purposes of the Warden’s Court are to:
Most matters taken to the Warden’s Court will be subject to a preliminary hearing (informal) prior to the actual trial (formal). However, some matters may be concluded prior to the trial if the Warden suggests settlement discussions or makes initial orders during the preliminary hearing, which may ultimately lead to the finalisation of the issue.
If you are required to attend the Warden’s Court, you will be notified of the date and time you are expected. In the instance that you cannot attend the hearing, it is important to make other arrangements as soon as possible. Throughout the proceedings, you will have opportunity to present your evidence and make your claim.
You can have a lawyer at the Warden’s Court, or you can choose to appear without a lawyer. If you decide to appear without a lawyer at the preliminary hearing, you can still adopt legal services post the hearing.
You may be able to get general assistance from the registry if you are simply wanting to gain a better understanding of the outline of procedures in the Court. However, you will not get personalised legal advice unless you seek the services of a qualified mining law team.
Most mining companies and legal services firms will agree that having professional legal representation is important in the Warden’s Court. Experienced lawyers will have a range of general mining law knowledge that can assist you during your civil suit. Having a lawyer present will help to ease your anxieties and ensure your case is being fairly and appropriately presented to the Court.
A mining lawyer may also be able to help you with extraneous circumstances and events, such as if you need assistance preparing an application, or you need support to appeal a decision of the Court. To commence an action in the Court, you may need to pay a prescribed fee, and your dedicated mining lawyer will be able to guide you through this process.
For those who are not familiar with the Warden’s Court, attending the court can feel like a daunting or concerning prospect. While it is something to take seriously for the sake of yourself and your company, you needn’t be worried if you are adequately prepared for the proceedings and aware of what may take place in the Court. As mentioned above, legal representation will allow you to feel more confident as you head into the Warden’s Court.
To chat to the specialist mining legal team at Hetherington, contact us today on 02 9967 4844 (Sydney) or 08 9228 9977 (Perth). Some of the key services we provide to the mining sector include: Warden’s Court objections, and representation in the Warden’s Court Western Australia; tenement reporting, mining rehabilitation reporting; tenement management from specialised tenement managers; assistance with Exploration Licences and Mining Leases; land access arrangements, compensation agreements; mineral exploration approvals; program of work (POW), activity approval preparation lodgement and management; and mining compliance, exploration compliance, tenement compliance.
While you’re vising our blog, you can also take a look at some of our recent tenement management and mining law articles: How mining supports the Australian economy, The importance of mineral exploration, How to apply for a mineral tenement in Australia, What compliance matters are relevant to the mining sector and 5 interesting facts about coal in Australia.