Courts and tribunals will remain open and continue to run throughout the planned four week national lockdown, HMCTS has confirmed.
Officials will continue to follow and implement public health advice to reduce risk, and keep court and tribunal users updated on what this means for them through ongoing publication of their weekly operational update.
The judiciary fully supports this approach, and the Lord Chief Justice and Senior President of Tribunals has published a message reflecting this.
If agreed by Parliament, the month-long national restrictions will apply across England from 00:01am on Thursday morning until 2 December (replacing all tiered restrictions) and will sit alongside restrictions already announced for Wales and Scotland.
Court and tribunal users – including legal professionals, the parties, jurors, witnesses, judges, magistrates and court staff – are vital to the continued running of the courts and tribunals in this proposed period of renewed significant restrictions.
Hearings will continue, making use of remote technology where judges feel this is appropriate, but you should not attend court and tribunal buildings if you have coronavirus symptoms, have tested positive for COVID-19 or if you must self-isolate.
It is essential that all court and tribunal users follow the hands-space-face guidance without fail and remind each other of its importance at every turn.
As new restrictions are announced as part of a second national lockdown, prioritising one’s wellbeing has never been more important. Resolution has launched a Wellbeing Survey to see how practitioners are feeling and how best we can provide assistance.
We are keen that the survey reaches beyond our own membership so please help us to spread the word and encourage your colleagues and friends who work in family law to participate.
We have also made a suite of wellbeing resources available free of charge.