Q&As

Coronavirus (Covid-19)—What happens in situations where an application needs to be heard before a certain date? Would the court be willing to provide relief if it is unable to arrange for an application to be heard?

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Produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 30/03/2020

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 happens in situations where an application needs to be heard before a certain date? Would the court be willing to provide relief if it is unable to arrange for an application to be heard?

The response of the courts to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been patchy and confused. The position changes from day-to-day as to whether hearings should go ahead, whether they should be in person, and whether non-urgent cases should simply be adjourned or conducted remotely. At the time of writing the guidance suggests that where cases can be heard remotely, they will be—see: Coronavirus (COVID-19)-Civil and Family Courts guidance from Lord Chief Justice—LNB News 19/03/2020 93, and Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Guidance on telephone and video hearings updated—LNB News 19/03/2020 18, but the ability of the various court buildings to provide for this is highly questionable.

In ongoing litigation there will be circumstances where a hearing is required within a particular time—for example an application to adduce expert evidence will be required to be heard before the trial. It is currently unclear whether trials will generally be taking place and it is likely that a significant number of cases will be adjourned to a date in the far future. This will limit the number of applications that ne

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