Covid-19: Priority courts scheme starts today
The government have rolled out a number of priority courts to make sure justice is served as at 30 March 2020.
This network of courts will remain open during the coronavirus pandemic and to make sure the justice system continues to operate effectively.
Lawyers and other court users are being urged to check online that their court is open and please see this link.
In short, HM Courts & Tribunals Service have said that 157 priority court and tribunal buildings will be open for essential face to face hearings.
This actually represents 42% of the overall 370 crown, magistrates, county and family courts and tribunals across England and Wales.
The idea is to help maintain a core justice system focused on the most essential cases.
The HM Courts & Tribunals Service is also attempting to ensure effective social distancing for all court users and for cleaning and security work to be focused on fewer buildings.
There is also the potential for hearings to be dealt with remotely e.g. by telephone or video link and/or the courts providing a transcript afterwards. Guidance has also been published in relation to the use of telephone and video hearings and please see this link.
It is unknown how long these measures will be in place for but it is suspected that this will be as long as possible to comply with government and public health advice.