Amber and her husband hit headlines in May (15) after she allegedly flew their pet terriers, Pistol and Boo, Down Under without the proper permits.

The Rum Diary star is charged with two counts of illegal importation of an animal and one of producing a false document.

After a brief hearing at Southport Magistrates' Court in Australia on Monday (07Dec15), Amber's lawyers released a statement indicating she will fight the charges.

"Today I instructed my lawyers to enter not guilty pleas on my behalf," the actress said in the statement. "I have been informed by my lawyers that there has been no necessity for me to attend Court to date despite my willingness to do so.

"While I am unable to comment on specific matters before the Court I would like to say that I respect the importance of Australia’s laws.

"My decision to defend these charges, as will become apparent in the appropriate forum of the Court, is not intended to in any way diminish the importance of Australia's laws.

"I look forward to attending the hearing of these matters. However as the matters are to be determined by the Court, I will not be making any further statements."

At the hearing, Amber's defence barrister Paul Morreau told the court the actress wants the matter to go to trial early next year (16), with the date scheduled to be determined at the next hearing on 15 December (15).

It is not yet known whether Johnny will appear in Australia for the trial, either to support his wife or as a witness in the case.

The charge of illegally importing an animal carries a maximum penalty in Australia of 10 years in jail and a $79,067 (£49,417) fine.