Guidance published following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Saturday confirmed that courts and tribunals in England are among the public services that will continue to operate throughout the four-week lockdown period. If you are required to attend a court or tribunal, you will be permitted to leave home for that purpose.
Message from the judiciary
In a message on the judiciary website, the Lord Chief Justice and the Senior President of Tribunals said:
“It is vital for the well-being of the country that the administration of justice continues to operate. The legal profession, the parties, jurors, witnesses, judges, magistrates and court staff are all key workers, vital to the continued running of the courts and tribunals in this proposed period of renewed significant restrictions. Our experience since March has left us much better prepared. HMCTS will continue to follow and implement public health advice to reduce risk.”
The move comes amid continued concern at the mounting backlog of cases since lockdown in March.
However, the government website continues to carry the following prominent warning:
|You should not come to any of our court and tribunal buildings if you have coronavirus symptoms, if you have tested positive for COVID-19 or if you have been instructed by the NHS to self-isolate. Please contact the court or tribunal before you are due to attend so that suitable arrangements can be made for your hearing. Read our guidance about coming to court during the pandemic.
While public health legislation allows those involved in legal proceedings to come out of self-isolation when necessary, you must consult with the court or tribunal first who will consider and decide on appropriate arrangements.