24 March 2020
Covid-19 - Guidance for Courts - Lord Chief Justice's Office
Issued at the request of the Lord Chief Justice Office
Following the Prime
Minister’s speech on Monday evening, the Lord Chief Justice has determined that
only urgent matters as indicated in his note of 17 March (see list below)
should be addressed until further notice.
All other work is to be
administratively adjourned by a judge without a hearing. In most cases it is
likely an 8 week period will be considered appropriate.
Where there is an
urgent matter listed before the Easter break that falls into the exceptional
category, it should be highlighted to the relevant court office as soon as
possible so that arrangements can be made to facilitate a hearing.
working with NICTS to increase the amount of business that can be dealt with by
way of live link, skype or telephone conference and we hope to have more
information in that regard shortly.
We will be making
arrangements to establish a rota at all court tiers. We will be in touch with
the Society as soon as possible to advise about further arrangements.
Neither members of
the profession or public should attend court if they are not pursuing a
OF PRIORITY PROCEEDINGS
proceedings typically involve the immediate liberty, health, safety and
wellbeing of individuals. Examples include:
- First remands in the Magistrates’ Courts (charge
- Bail applications
- PACE applications;
- Sentencing where delay may mean time on remand exceeds
any likely/realistic custody period under the sentence
- Non-Molestation Orders;
- Applications under the Children (NI) Order 1995 such as
Care Orders, Prohibited Steps Orders, Emergency Protection Orders and
Secure Accommodation Orders;
- Declaratory judgments in patients’ cases;
- Child abduction
- Habeas Corpus applications
- Urgent injunctions;
- Urgent judicial reviews