Q&As

Coronavirus (COVID-19)—what are the arrangements for contacting courts which are now ‘temporarily suspended’ but which were dealing with ongoing and/or urgent applications?

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Produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 31/03/2020

The following Dispute Resolution Q&A Produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19)—what are the arrangements for contacting courts which are now ‘temporarily suspended’ but which were dealing with ongoing and/or urgent applications?

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is causing severe difficulties in the operation of the court estate. As of 27 March 2020, HMCTS confirmed that the work of courts and tribunals would be consolidated into fewer buildings, with 157 priority court and tribunal buildings open for essential face-to-face hearings. The Courts and Tribunals Tracker sets out which buildings are open.

There are three categories of court: open courts, which are open to the public; staffed courts, where staff and judges continue to work from the buildings but they are not open to the public; and suspended courts, which are temporarily closed.

There appears to be no available guidance on what the situation is with regard to the suspended courts that are dealing with ongoing matters or urgent applications that have not been heard. It is therefore entirely unclear how parties who have matters outstanding before those courts can communicate and determine the status of those matters. As the court service adapts to the current ways of workin

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