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22 May 2020

For The Urgent Attention Of All Practitioners

LISTING OF CASES - UPDATES FROM THE OFFICE OF THE LORD CHIEF JUSTICE

 

The Office of the Lord Chief Justice (OLCJ) has forwarded the following information along with listings for cases to be administratively reviewed.

You should check these lists as a matter of urgency to see if you or a colleague in your office has a case which appears thereon and if so please make contact with a representative of the other parties involved in the litigation and action as required. 

Given the difficulties presented by the current pandemic, it may be that one or more of the legal representatives is currently unavailable due to furlough or otherwise in which case you may wish to contact one of the principals in that office. 

Colleagues are advised to REGULARLY monitor the Coronavirus section of the website of Judiciary NI - https://judiciaryni.uk/coronavirus-covid-19 and the Society's e-Newsletter - E-nformer.



CHANCERY CASES

The Judge will undertake a further administrative review of Chancery cases listed between 11th May and the end of the Trinity Term (30th June 2020)Please see attached List.

Representatives should collaboratively complete and lodge form ChancI1 by email with the Chancery Office (chanceryoffice@courtsni.gov.uk) by 28th May 2020. Where a party is not represented or is a litigant in person, the Chancery Office will advise them to complete and lodge form LIPCI1.

Where no form is received from either party the case will be adjourned for 4 weeks. Where the judge determines a review hearing is required the parties will be notified and the hearing will take place remotely.

Furthermore, any urgent applications will continue to be dealt with as per the Lord Chief Justice’s earlier guidance.



HIGH COURT FAMILY CASES

The Judge will undertake a further administrative review of High Court Family cases listed for hearing between 11th May 2020 and the end of the Trinity Term (30th June 2020)Please see attached List. 

Representatives should complete and lodge form FCI1 by email with the Family Office in the RCJ by 29th May 2020 (RCJChildrenoffice@courtsni.gov.uk).  Where the judge determines a review hearing is required this will take place on Monday 8th June 2020.



FAMILY CARE CENTRES AT BELFAST / CRAIGAVON / LONDONDERRY / DUNGANNON & FAMILY PROCEEDINGS COURTS IN ARDS AND LISBURN

Guidance issued by the OLCJ on 12th May 2020 sets out plans to commence administrative reviews of cases in each of the four Family Care Courts (FCCs), and the Family Proceedings Courts (FPC) in Ards and in Lisburn.  Further Guidance relating to family proceedings can be found here.

The Guidance issued today 22nd May 2020 expands on that  for the FCC at

https://judiciaryni.uk/sites/judiciary/files/media-files/Covid-19%20-%20Family%20Care%20Centre%20%28FCC%29%20Recovery%20220520.pdf

and for the FPC in Ards and in Lisburn at

https://judiciaryni.uk/sites/judiciary/files/media-files/Covid-19%20-%20Family%20Proceedings%20Court%20%28FPC%29%20-%20Ards%20%26%20Lisburn%20Pilot%20220520.pdf

The OLCJ has also forwarded the Society lists provided by the Court Offices of cases to be reviewed and indicating the date by which forms should be returned to the Court Office. This will normally be within a week of issue

Any urgent or agreed applications will continue to be dealt with as per the Lord Chief Justice’s earlier guidance.

-       List of cases to be administratively reviewed

The judges will undertake administrative reviews of the cases in the attached lists for

(i)               cases at Belfast Family Care Centre, Craigavon Family Care Centre, Londonderry Family Care Centre and for the Family Proceedings Courts in Ards and in Lisburn during week commencing 8th June 2020.  

(ii)            cases at Dungannon Family Care Centre during weeks commencing 8th and 22nd June 2020.

In respect of cases falling within (i) representatives should identify their cases from the attached lists, and collaboratively complete and lodge Form FCI1 by email to the relevant court office by 29th May 2020.  The subject line of your email should state ‘FPC Review’ or ‘FCC Review’ as appropriate.

In respect of cases falling within (ii), representatives should identify their cases from the attached list, and collaboratively complete and lodge Form FCI1 by email to the relevant court office by 29th May 2020 (for w/c 8th June lists) and 12th June (for w/c 22nd June lists). The subject line of your email should state ‘FPC Review’ or ‘FCC Review’ as appropriate.

Where no form is received from either party the case will be adjourned to a fixed date.  Where the judge determines a review hearing is required the parties will be notified of the arrangements.

Any queries regarding the administrative reviews should be directed to the relevant court office.


CROWN COURT REVIEWS

Existing guidance on the website has been updated with regard to a review to be undertaken by Mr Justice O’Hara of his Crown Court (HCJ) cases to be held on Friday 12th June and Tuesday 23rd June 2020. For further information see

https://judiciaryni.uk/sites/judiciary/files/media-files/Covid-19%20-%20Crown%20Court%20Reviews%20-%20210520_0.pdf.

The Society understands that the attached list of cases with provisional review dates has already been sent to relevant counsel and solicitors but members may wish to check same.


MASTERS’ GUIDANCE

The Guidance for Masters’ Courts that was published on 19th and 23rd March 2020 has been updated.   It can be accessed at https://judiciaryni.uk/sites/judiciary/files/media-files/Covid-19%20-%20Masters%20Composite%20Guidance%20FINAL%20-%20210520_0.doc

The new guidance contains arrangements for QB Masters (Interim Payments) and OCP (Medical Report for Controller Applications).

Practitioners are asked to note that reduced staffing levels will impact on the time required to deal with all matters.



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