Due to the unprecedented situation with Covid-19 and self-isolation, the Court system has had to adapt in a number of ways so as to both minimise the risk of the virus spreading whilst also enabling the system to continue, albeit in a more restricted manner. Richard Lyne, solicitor in our Disputes Team, explains:
The court system has temporarily reduced face to face hearings to essential hearings only and is proceeding with telephone and video call hearings for those hearings and trials that it believes in the interests of justice will not be prejudiced by proceeding in one of those formats. Unfortunately, a number of hearings and trials have been adjourned to be relisted at a later date where it is not possible or is prejudicial to proceed by either telephone or video call.
A large number of courts have also closed temporarily but there is a network of priority courts that have remained open to hear ongoing cases and process new cases that fall within a specified criteria of cases that must proceed despite the current situation. A list of the priority courts and priority types of cases can be found on the Government website at the link below:
The court has stressed that access to justice should not be denied and should be maintained as much as possible during the current lockdown. In order for this goal to be achieved both the courts and lawyers are having to operate in different ways so that cases can be processed.
What this means for you:
Whilst the current situation with the court system is likely to result in delays to ongoing cases as well as new cases, it does not necessarily mean that they cannot be progressed at all. Both the court and Howell Jones Solicitors are operating in a remote manner that allows ongoing and new cases to be progressed as much as may be achieved.
If you have a legal matter that you need help with, you can speak with one of our lawyers who will let you know if we are able to assist and what impact the current lockdown situation may have on your matter. Delaying the start of your legal matter due to the current situation, may potentially be detrimental to your legal position.