COVID-19 Bulletin - Law & Practice - 02.04.20

Thursday 2 April 2020

Updates on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on law and practice.

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'Magistrates’ Powers to Make Orders to Control People, Things, and Premises to Reduce Infection Risk', Adrian Berry of Garden Court Chambers - 02.04.20 


Message from the President of the Family Division: Private Law Working Group Report, Courts and Tribunals Judiciary - 02.04.20

"Despite the challenging circumstances in which the Family Justice system is currently required to operate as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic, it is both necessary and appropriate to look to the future and to continue to contemplate ways in which the Family Court, and more widely society in general, can best support children and families following parental separation."

Updates to 'Domestic abuse policy framework', HMCTS - 02.04.20


Coronavirus (COVID-19): immigration and borders, HMCTS - 01.04.20

Guidance for those affected by changes to UK immigration and borders due to coronavirus.

Bar Council coronavirus advice and updates - 01.04.20

The Bar Council is keeping the coronavirus situation under constant review. This information is updated regularly to reflect the most recent guidance for the Bar. 

'PRACTICE DIRECTION 51ZA - Extension of time limits and clarification of practice direction 51y - coronavirus', Approved by the Lord Chancellor - 01.04.20

The new Practice Direction 51ZA supplementing the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 is made by the Master of the Rolls under the powers delegated to him by the Lord Chief Justice under Schedule 2, Part 1, paragraph 2(2) of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, and is approved by the Lord Chancellor. The new Practice Direction comes into force on the day after the day on which it is approved.

The First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber), HMCTS - 02.04.20

"The tribunal has suspended face to face hearings (other than in exceptional circumstances) until further notice. A notice containing instructions on the next steps in your case will be sent to you."

The Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) work priorities, HMCTS – 02.04.20

"There may be some delays in processing non-urgent work."

First-tier Tribunal (Mental Health) update, HMCTS - 02.04.20

Guidance to Tribunal users on joining hearings being conducted by telephone. 

HMCTS Court Closure Updates - 02.04.20

The Royal Courts of Justice remains open to the public, however some counters and court facilities have temporarily closed.

Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, Emergency Business Plan - 02.04.20

The work of the Court of Appeal Criminal Division will continue as much as possible. 

HMCTS Magistrates’ Courts Update - 02.04.20

Magistrates’ Courts will only be hearing the following cases today. 

The Coronavirus Act 2020 (Commencement No. 2) Regulations 2020 - 01.04.20

Very significant change in care law came into effect yesterday. The Coronavirus Act 2020 (Commencement No. 2) Regulations 2020 bring into force s.15/Sched 12 of Coronavirus Act 2020 which suspends local authority duties to assess & provide for care needs.

'HMCTS reveals list of priority work for county courts', Law Society Gazette - 01.04.20

The courts service today published a new list of priority county court work as it tries to keep the justice system going amid the coronavirus lockdown.

'Coronavirus: Yarl's Wood detainees 'terrified' after positive test', BBC News - 01.04.20

'Women detainees are still being sent to a UK immigration removal centre despite a confirmed case of coronavirus, a charity has said.'

Letter from President Clements to the immigration Bar - 01.04.20

Response to the letter signed by Garden Court's Immigration Team, and other signatories, on their concerns over the immigration Bar's coronavirus practice and procedure.  President Clements comments on concerns around funding, lack of clarity as to the applicable Practice Directions, hearings which require live evidence and access to the Public.

'Coronavirus: Scotland drops plans for trials without juries as lawyers oppose "draconian" measures', Independent - 01.04.20

Scotland has dropped plans to hold criminal trials without juries during the coronavirus lockdown after lawyers and politicians opposed the “draconian measures”. The Westminster government has not made similar proposals in England and Wales, where legal associations have vowed to fight “any effort to curtail this fundamental right”. 

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