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Video links to courtrooms on standby as public health measure
Pic: Ireland's Content Pool

11 Mar 2020 / courts Print

Video links to courts on standby as virus precaution

Court sittings nationwide are going ahead though the Courts Service is keeping a watching brief on the coronavirus situation, with contingency plans in place should public sittings be curtailed.

A contingency planning group has been established and business continuity plans for courthouses and buildings are being updated and reviewed with official HSE guidance monitored and reviewed.

Judges

Communications plans are also in place for judges, staff and court users and an extensive ICT contingency plan is in progress in the event of Courts Service buildings being unavailable.

Measures include video conferencing for custody hearings and video-link to expert witnesses.

Casual visitors may be asked to stay away from court building with courtroom presence restricted to those directly involved in cases.

Additional sanitisation of public offices and courtrooms is also underway with increased hygiene product supplies.

Localised

“In the event of a localised incidence of the virus we will take the advice of the HSE as to what actions to take. Our plans include arrangements to support court sittings, in ways which include modern technology,” a Courts Service spokesman said.

Courts Service Twitter and Facebook  accounts will also feature links to information updates and will include tagging to the Bar Council, Law Society and Garda Síochána accounts – to reach as many in the justice community and court users as possible.

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