COVID-19 – Advice to applicants
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, from 24 March 2020 until further notice:
- all applications to the Patient Review Panel must be made via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- all inquiries should be made via email: email@example.com
- hearings will continue and will be held via videoconference
- applicants will be advised of the process for videoconference hearings once a date for the hearing of their application has been fixed
- applicants should provide copies of their applications to their assisted reproductive treatment (ART) clinics
- if applicants have any concerns about the impact of COVID-19 on their current or future treatment, please contact your ART clinic.
Information about hearings
The Patient Review Panel (the Panel) holds regular hearings to consider applications but does not meet in January. Panel hearings are conducted with as little formality and technicality as proper consideration of the application permits and applicants are entitled to be present, to make submissions and have a support person with them. With the exception of most storage applications, the strong preference of the Panel is that every party to an application attend the hearing.
Attendance at hearings from 24 March 2020 until further notice will be via videoconference.
For example, in a surrogacy application, this would be both commissioning parents, the surrogate mother and her partner (if she has one) and any donors and their partners. If, for whatever reason, a party to an application is unable or does not want to attend an allocated hearing date then the Panel should be advised, via email, as soon as possible. Parties to applications who do not attend Panel hearings should be aware that their application may not be approved or may be adjourned to a future hearing date to permit them with an opportunity to attend if the Panel is not able to satisfy itself of its legislative obligations in their absence.
There is no right to legal representation at a Panel hearing unless prior leave has been granted by the Panel. Requests for legal representation should be made in writing to the Chairperson.
Panel hearings are not open to the public.
Applicants should note that the Panel is bound by the rules of natural justice, which means that any person who may be affected by a decision of the Panel has the opportunity of a fair and unbiased hearing before the decision is made. The Panel is not, however, bound by the rules of evidence, which means that it may inform itself in any way it thinks fit.
If given prior notice, the Panel can arrange for an interpreter at a hearing to assist applicants from non-English speaking backgrounds and the Panel will pay for any costs involved in using the services of an interpreter. While applicants are permitted to attend with a support person, they may wish to note that any interpreting services must be provided through a professional agency as arranged by the Panel and not by a support person.
Upon receipt of an application, it is reviewed by Panel staff to see whether it is ready to be listed for hearing or not. If it is ready to be listed for hearing then it will be allocated to the next available hearing date and you will be advised of that in due course. If it is not ready to be listed for hearing then the Panel staff will contact you and explain what additional information or documents are required. Incomplete applications or applications that are not yet ready to be listed for hearing will not be allocated a hearing date, nor is it possible to reserve a future hearing date for an incomplete application.
Due to the volume of applications the Panel receives, hearings fill up quickly and the agenda is confirmed one month in advance. As such, applications will not generally be listed in the same month that they have been received. If you are aiming to have your application listed for a specific hearing date then it is recommended that you lodge your application VIA EMAIL ONLY no later than 6-8 weeks in advance of that hearing date. Please note, however, it is not possible to reserve a place on a hearing date nor is any hearing date guaranteed.
Applicants to the Panel can request an Out-of-Session hearing at short notice if they require urgent assisted reproductive treatment for a medical reason. Such a request should be in writing and supported by a letter from a doctor.
Panel hearing dates 2021
- Tuesday, 9 February 2021 (full)
- Friday, 26 February 2021 (full)
- Thursday, 18 March 2021 (full)
- Tuesday, 27 April 2021 (full)
- Friday, 21 May 2021 (full)
- Friday, 4 June 2021 (full)
- Tuesday, 20 July 2021
- Friday, 6 August 2021
- Friday, 20 August 2021
- Tuesday, 14 September 2021
- Tuesday, 5 October 2021
- Thursday, 21 October 2021
- Friday, 12 November 2021
- Thursday, 2 December 2021
- Wednesday, 15 December 2021