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 and arranging accommodation if you need to stay overnight. They will cover the cost for this. 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
If a witness wants 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 (PDF 126KB) to see if they are eligible and complete a Witness Expense Claim Form (PDF 141KB) and Vendor Form (PDF 155KB). 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.
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.
Reimbursement of other expenses
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. An information sheet is attached that outlines what expenses can be claimed. Again they 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.