While the Courts are described as an “essential service” they are not business as usual.
The only matters in the District Court and High Court that will continue are those where the person is in custody (prison). Those in custody will appear during lockdown on the scheduled dates by audio-visual link (AVL). Lawyers – and even Judges – may also appear via AVL. The Courts are no longer open to the public for the duration of the lockdown.
However, jury trials, Judge-alone trials and pre-trial hearings (with witnesses) will no occur during the lockdown. Those in custody with matters of this nature scheduled during the lockdown will appear and be adjourned to a callover date.
For people on bail, all appearances scheduled for the duration of the lockdown will be adjourned to other dates. They will not be required to attend court, instead their bail will continue until the new date.
Prior to the lockdown, all jury trials were suspended for 2 months. It is unclear whether this will impact jury trials scheduled after this period.
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