The Courts Service has issued a general outline of how it plans to deal with court business throughout the new level five restrictions announced by the Government.
The new restrictions take effect from midnight on Wednesday (21 October) and run for six weeks.
The Courts Service is expected to issue more detailed practice directions soon.
In the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal, most work will continue to be conducted remotely.
In the High Court and the Central Criminal Court, work in a number of areas will continue under level five:
- All proceedings and trials currently at hearing, where possible,
- All urgent proceedings and applications will also continue, as will any proceedings or applications that can be heard remotely,
- All Judicial Review ex parte applications and injunctions,
- Bail applications, sentencing hearings and Article 40 applications.
Civil business adjourned
In the Circuit Court, priority will be given to family law and essential criminal business. With the exception of urgent cases, civil business will be adjourned. No new criminal trials will start and every effort will be made to finish existing trials.
In the District Court, priority will be given to family law, child care law and essential criminal business. As in the Circuit Court, civil business will be adjourned.
Consent matters, where possible, can be e-mailed to court and consent orders made. Where parents agree to changed access or maintenance arrangements, they can email evidence of changed arrangements for the court file and court orders can be amended at a later date.
In an attempt to reduce numbers coming to court in relation to criminal cases, people with legal representation should contact their solicitor for advice as to whether to attend court or not. Those who are not legally represented must attend court.
The Courts Service says prioritising and supporting applications under the domestic violence legislation will continue.