Coronavirus impact on court hearings – latest news as at 24th March 2020
Statements released today indicate that there will be very few or no ‘physical’ court hearings in the immediate future. All hearings will have to be dealt with remotely.
Statement from The Bar Council in order to try and tackle the Covid-19 outbreak:
“The Prime Minister’s message yesterday evening was clear that everyone must stay at home to inhibit all contact and stall the spread of Covid-19. Since the announcement, we have been seeking clarity from the Senior Judiciary on what will happen with courts from Tuesday 24 March 2020. We had hoped to have this advice earlier but, just before midnight, we saw guidance indicating that you should not attend the Civil or Family Courts in person. You should not attend the Crown Court in person unless you are in a part-heard trial. The situation for Magistrates’ Courts is unclear, but we suggest you do not attend in person until the guidance is clear.”
Statement from the Chair of the Chancery Bar Association:
“The ChBA has been informed by HHJ Johns that the senior judiciary have decided that no hearings which require people to attend are now to take place in the County Court until further notice, unless there is genuine urgency and no remote hearing is possible. All cases currently being heard will be adjourned part heard so that arrangements can be made, where possible, to conduct the hearing remotely. So far as the Central London County Court is concerned, all face to face hearings at Central London today are being adjourned to a date to be fixed so you do not need to attend. We cannot say what the position is in other courts at this point.”