The UK Government have announced today that 157 priority court and tribunal buildings will open for essential face-to-face hearings. This represents 42% of the 370 crown, magistrates, county and family courts and tribunals across England and Wales. Her Majesty’s Court Service has stated that it will also ensure effective social distancing for all court users and for cleaning and security work to be focused on fewer buildings.
Other Courts and Tribunals will remain open but will be closed to the public. These ‘staffed courts’ will support video and telephone hearings, progress cases without hearings and ensure continued access to justice.
These measures, which will come into effect on Monday, 30 March 2020, will be kept in place for as long as necessary to comply with government and public health advice and will be reviewed regularly.
Hearings that cannot be heard by video or telephone and which cannot be delayed will be held in a priority court and tribunal buildings, expect in exceptional circumstances, from Monday, 30 March 2020.
These changes affect all jurisdictions and any urgent or essential hearing that must be held in person will be put to a Judge to determine whether audio or video technology can be used as an alternative.
This is very positive news for our clients. If you have any matters that require an urgent application to the court that cannot be dealt with by audio or video conferencing, then we can make application in suitable cases to the Court to request an urgent face to face hearing.
For a same-day response, contact our head of private client services at ravi.merhas@bhdsolicitors to arrange a consultation, or you can contact us via the blue contact us boxes above.
We are a firm specialising in multi legal disciplines with offices situated in Croydon and Central London. And we are continuing to work remotely throughout the Coronavirus pandemic.