November 9, 2020
In the message, Lord Burnett of Maldon (the Lord Chief Justice) and Sir Keith Lindblom (the Senior President of Tribunals) said that following the Prime Minister’s announcement that England will go into lockdown from 5 November to 2 December 2020, the work of the courts and tribunals will continue to be exempted.
The message states that it is “vital for the well-being of the country that the administration of justice continues to operate” and that all those involved in the administration of justice will be classified as key workers. HMCTS will continue to follow and implement public health advice to reduce risk.
The Justices note that the requirement for remote attendance of participants in court proceedings, which has been in place since March, together with the requirements for social distancing, have led to a significant reduction in footfall in all court buildings whilst enabling thousands of hearings to take place. Significantly reduced footfall will continue to be necessary in this next phase, they state. Therefore, judges and magistrates must continue to make full use of these provisions so that cases can be dealt with as soon and as efficiently as possible. To read the message in full, click here.