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Wednesday, 06 January 2021 12:02

Courts remain open

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Courts will remain open during the new Covid-19 restrictions applying across England, the government confirmed last night. Guidelines state that reasonable excuses for leaving home during lockdown include fulfilment of legal obligations, such as attending court as a lawyer or jury member, or to carry out activities relating to buying, selling or letting a home.

People are also allowed to leave home for meetings within prisons or immigration detention centres.

The position on courts is in contrast to the situation in March during the first lockdown, when fewer than half of buildings were kept open for essential face-to-face hearings.

Lord chancellor Robert Buckland QC MP said: ‘Our courts & tribunals continue to be an essential public service, served by essential workers and meeting Covid-secure standards endorsed by public health officials. With the use of remote hearings wherever appropriate, this vital work can and should continue.’

His justice colleague Chris Philp MP said court and tribunal hearings, inclduing jury trials, can carry on either remotely or in person. He also confirmed that professional court users count as key workers so can place their children in school.

Philp added: ‘Professional users, jurors and witnesses should continue to attend. We are grateful for all you do to ensure access to justice.’

Read 171 times Last modified on Wednesday, 06 January 2021 12:04