Coronavirus (COVID-19): Court and Tribunal building status

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Court and Tribunal building status

Last updated 9th April 2020

The Law Society of England & Wales: Due to the Coronavirus the Ministry of Justice and HM Courts and Tribunals Service announced that the work of the courts and tribunals will be consolidated into fewer building for public safety reasons.

Simon Davis, president of the Law Society said:

“Balancing safety with the need to keep the wheels of justice turning is incredibly difficult. We recognise that it is impossible for HMCTS to maintain a full complement of courts open to the public at this time; in some courts it is challenging to ensure that people can maintain social distancing. This was already posing health risks that have been of serious concern to the legal professionals trying to help the public in need”

The current status of the courts and tribunals buildings is:

  • 160 open courts – these buildings are open to the public for essential face-to-face hearings
  • 116 staffed courts – staff and judges will work from these buildings, but they are not open to the public. All other parties that may be involved in the video or telephone hearings being supported at staffed courts will be able to do attend these remotely
  • 75 suspended courts – these courts will be temporarily closed

Useful links

Courts and Tribunals tracker list – this is regularly updated showing which courts are open, staffed and suspended during the coronavirus pandemic.

Court and Tribunal finder – find contact details and information about courts and tribunals in your area.

Courts and Tribunals planning and preparation – provides advice and guidance for all court and tribunal users during the coronavirus pandemic.

Changes to the court and tribunal hearings during the coronavirus outbreak

HMCTS daily operational summary on Courts and Tribunals – provides a daily summary of the HMCTS operational position during the coronavirus pandemic.

HMCTS telephone and video hearings – guidance on how HMCTS will use telephone and video technology during the coronavirus pandemic. This is also available in Welsh.

If you require technical support for a telephone or video hearing you can call 0330 8089405. Our Welsh members should call 0300 3035177.

The Courts and Tribunals Service Centres will be available from 8am to 5pm Monday to Thursday and 8am to 4pm on Fridays until further:

For Probate service queries call 0300 303 0648.

For Divorce service queries call 0300 303 0642.

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