HMCTS have released their latest weekly operational summary, available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/hmcts-weekly-operational-summary-on-courts-and-tribunals-during-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.
Some key updates are:-
- They have opened 3 new Nightingale Courts. The first is in Wolverhampton and provides 2 additional non-custodial Crown Courtrooms. The second court is in Liverpool and provides 1 additional room for Crown Court work. The final court is in Croydon and provides 2 additional rooms, one for Crown Court and one for Crown Court appeals work.
- A Nightingale Court will open at the Mercure Nottingham Sherwood Hotel, which will provide two additional Crown Courtrooms as a satellite of Nottingham Crown Court.
- Fluid Resistant Surgical Masks (FRSMs) are to be supplied to professional users providing legal consultation in custody suites. This is in addition to the existing safety measures already in place. FRSMs will be issued by staff on entry to court custody suites.
- On-site rapid testing will be offered to court users attending scheduled hearings at Leeds Combined Court, Leicester Crown Court, Reading Crown Court and Winchester Combined Court.
- Common Platform is the new digital case management system for HMCTS, the judiciary, and professional court users. By the end of March, it is scheduled to go live at; Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court, North Staffordshire Justice Centre, Newcastle-under-Lyme Magistrates’ Court, Stafford Crown Court, Cannock Magistrates’ Court, Chester Crown Court and Warrington Magistrates’ Court. Defence firms and chambers working with these courts need to register their legal practitioners now for user accounts.
- A Message released by the Lord Chief Justice on Courts Recovery is available here: https://www.judiciary.uk/announcements/message-from-the-lord-chief-justice-courts-recovery/