Coronavirus: Trial backlog ‘adding to risk of mob justice’ – BBC News

Posted June 1st, 2020 in coronavirus, courts, criminal justice, delay, legal aid, news, public order by sally

‘ “Mob justice” could increase in England and Walesunless more money is made available to clear the backlog of court cases swollen by coronavirus, the government has been warned.’

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BBC News, 29th May 2020

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Housing lawyers group hits out at plans for resumed possession hearings in London – Local Government Lawyer

‘The Housing Law Practitioners Association (HLPA) has condemned proposals for resumed possession hearings in London courts as “unconscionable” and “naïve”.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 28th May 2020

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

England and Wales face backlog of 40,000 criminal cases due to coronavirus – The Guardian

Posted May 26th, 2020 in coronavirus, courts, criminal justice, delay, news, remote hearings, statistics by sally

‘The criminal justice system in England and Wales is facing a backlog of 40,000 criminal cases, which will not be solved even if all crown courts are brought into service under physical distancing rules, the Criminal Bar Association has warned.’

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The Guardian, 24th May 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Transparency and risk assessments : A Covid-Catch 22 – Transparency Project

Posted May 21st, 2020 in coronavirus, courts, health & safety, HM Courts Service, news by sally

‘It is encouraging that HMCTS (Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service has published their organisational risk assessment, dealing with the broad approach to the assessment of risk around the attendance of public and professionals at court hearings during the Covid-19 outbreak. It is for others to comment on whether the apparent assumption that adherence to a two metre social distancing rule within court buildings will in fact be safe, though we note that some materials suggest that spending long periods of time in a confined room, especially an air conditioned one, is unlikely to be risk free. People can however, make up their own minds about that assessment and whether or not it is wise for them to attend court if not essential.’

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Transparency Project, 20th May 2020

Source: www.transparencyproject.org.uk

Civil Justice Council Rapid Consultation: The impact of COVID-19 measures on the civil justice system – Transparency Project

Posted May 20th, 2020 in civil justice, consultations, coronavirus, courts, news, remote hearings by sally

‘Following the rapid consultation on the use of remote hearings in the family justice system, undertaken by the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory at the request of the President of the Family Division, the Civil Justice Council have now embarked on a similar consultation in relation to the civil courts.’

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Transparency Project, 19th May 2020

Source: www.transparencyproject.org.uk

How court trials are coping with coronavirus – BBC News

Posted May 19th, 2020 in coronavirus, courts, criminal justice, juries, news, pilot schemes by sally

‘A pilot scheme has begun to restart jury trials in the UK after they were halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.’

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BBC News, 18th May 2020

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Youth courts: are we still failing our most vulnerable? – Counsel

Posted May 19th, 2020 in children, courts, criminal justice, news, young persons, youth courts by sally

‘Have the 2013 reforms improved the youth justice experience at all or were they simply good intentions, poorly executed? A walkthrough of the key issues – and ideas for change – by Tori Adams and Kirsty Day.’

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Counsel, May 2020

Source: www.counselmagazine.co.uk

Do our buildings make us? Covid-19 and the courts reforms – Counsel

Posted May 18th, 2020 in coronavirus, courts, news, remote hearings by sally

‘Are our courts just buildings or something more? What role does the physical courtroom play? Rapid steps towards remote hearings today, while essential during the pandemic, could also inform future decisions on court closures warns Lorna Cameron.’

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Counsel, May 2020

Source: www.counselmagazine.co.uk

Protecting our young – ensuring our future – Counsel

Posted May 18th, 2020 in barristers, coronavirus, courts, health, health & safety, news, young persons by sally

‘Young barristers want to be in court but they do not want this at the expense of their health or the expense of their clients, writes Katherine Duncan.’

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Counsel, May 2020

Source: www.counselmagazine.co.uk

Making defendants state nationality is ‘racialising’ UK courts – report – The Guardian

‘The impartiality of the criminal justice system is being undermined by the requirement that defendants declare their nationality at the start of proceedings, a report into the legislation has said.’

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The Guardian, 18th May 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Re B (Children) (Remote Hearing: Interim Care Order) [2020] EWCA Civ 584 by Emily Ward – Broadway House Chambers

‘This is the second case relating to the welfare of children to reach the Court of Appeal on the issue of remote hearings during the Covid-19 pandemic. The same panel of judges who dealt with Re A presided in this case. You can find the decision Re A here and Re B here.’

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Broadway House Chambers, 11th May 2020

Source: broadwayhouse.co.uk

Is it permissible for a defendant to attend (final) confiscation hearings via audio and/or video link during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic court ‘lock down’? – 5SAH

‘Disagreement and divergent approaches to this question persist since the Coronavirus Act 2020 amended the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (CDA 1998). The position as at 1 May 2020 is as follows. John Oliver discusses for Lexis Nexis PSL.’

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5SAH, 13th May 2020

Source: www.5sah.co.uk

Is Criminal Justice Under Lockdown Remotely Possible? – Transparency Project

‘Nothing better represents our idea of justice being not only done but seen to be done than the spectacle of trial by jury in the Crown Court. The arrangement of the physical space of the courtroom, the royal coat of arms behind the raised bench where the judge sits, robed and wigged, representing the majesty of the law; the dock where the captive defendant awaits the verdict of his or her “peers”, in the time-honoured words of Magna Carta; and those peers themselves, a dozen ordinary citizens doing their civic duty as jurors, ranged along one side in their jury box. Advocates, robed and wigged, take turns to present and test the case for the prosecution and the defence; witnesses are called and sworn to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth (subject to the rules of evidence); and all of this may be watched by the public and reported by the press.’

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Transparency Project, 11th May 2020

Source: www.transparencyproject.org.uk

Judge explains himself in writing after phone hearing fails – Legal Futures

‘A High Court judge has been forced to issue a detailed judgment in writing because his voice was “breaking up” at the end of a telephone hearing with a litigant in person (LiP) and the law firm suing her for fees.’

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Legal Futures, 13th May 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Murder trial resumes with counsel and jury swapping seats – Legal Futures

‘A jury trial resumed at the Old Bailey yesterday, with barristers in the jury and press boxes, and jurors socially distancing in counsel’s rows after being told there were no face masks for them.’

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Legal Futures, 12th May 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Old Bailey jury trials to resume this week – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted May 11th, 2020 in coronavirus, courts, criminal justice, Crown Court, juries, news, trials by sally

‘Two jury trials will resume at the Old Bailey this week as first steps toward Crown court cases restarting around the country. However, the criminal bar warned that a resumption of normal service “remains many weeks off”.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 10th May 2020

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Child Protocol in Criminal Cases – Garden Court Chambers

‘The impact of COVID-19 and the guidance from Government to take all precautions to avoid unnecessary contact, has seen understandable and unprecedented changes to the justice system. The Lord Chief Justice has announced that, where possible, criminal hearings should take place remotely and no new jury trials can begin, causing all future trials to be postponed.’

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Garden Court Chambers, 5th May 2020

Source: www.gardencourtchambers.co.uk

Video hearings “more likely to lead to convictions” – Legal Futures

‘Video hearings in certain criminal cases are more likely to lead to defendants receiving a prison sentence, a major study has found.’

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Legal Futures, 6th May 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Covid-19 and the courts – Radcliffe Chambers

Posted May 6th, 2020 in chambers articles, coronavirus, courts, live link evidence, news by sally

‘Covid-19 has posed a major challenge to courts around the world in maintaining the proper administration of justice. We can be very proud that the courts in the UK have already been innovative in making use of technology, using facilities such as Skype and Zoom to conduct not only contentious non-witness hearings, but even trials. This has enabled court business, at least in civil cases, to operate as close to normal as is possible. The UK courts, together with Australia and some US jurisdictions, have led the way in this respect. Even some major litigation centres, such as Hong Kong, are only now beginning to make use of technology to overcome the challenges posed by the virus.’

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Radcliffe Chambers, 29th April 2020

Source: radcliffechambers.com

Extensions of time and adjournment of face-to-face hearings for Covid-19 reasons – Parklane Plowden Chambers

Posted May 6th, 2020 in adjournment, chambers articles, coronavirus, courts, delay, news, time limits by sally

‘In the challenging and constraining times imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, it can be difficult to comply with case management directions. Although the parties may agree extensions of time of up to 56 days if they do not imperil a hearing date, applications continue to be necessary where the extension may impact on a court hearing.’

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Parklane Plowden Chambers, 28th April 2020

Source: www.parklaneplowden.co.uk