Courts and Tribunals Weekly Operational Update - Coronavirus: week commencing Monday 2 November 2020

HMCTS weekly operational update during coronavirus outbreak

HMCTS weekly operational update: Week commencing Monday 2 November 2020


  • Updated: From 2 November 2020, jury trials will have resumed in 78 Crown Courts and are running in 5 Nightingale Courts and 3 other existing court locations.
  • Updated: Doncaster Justice Centre South (Doncaster Crown Court), satellite of Sheffield, is due to restart jury trials on 9 November 2020.
  • Updated: We have installed plexiglass screens in 223 court rooms and 146 jury deliberation rooms so far. Further installations are being planned for November 2020.
  • Updated: We are installing new Portakabin® buildings to provide temporary rooms for jury deliberations. We have installed Portakabin® buildings so far at 7 court locations (Bradford, Grimsby, Hull, Leeds, Newcastle, Preston and Teesside).
  • Updated: Section 28 for vulnerable victims and witnesses in Crown Courts rolled out to more Crown Courts. It provides the option to pre-record evidence in advance of a trial for vulnerable complainants of a crime, as well as witnesses, including children.
  • Updated: The Prisoner Escort and Custody Service (PECS) updated their safety policies with regards to COVID-19 from Monday 26 October 2020, in order to minimise the risk of transmission. PECS will still primarily manage the safety of staff, detainees and visitors to the court custody suite via social distancing.
  • Crown Courts continue to deal with a range of work remotely, including sentencing hearings and all urgent applications including applications for bail and applications to extend custody time limits. Pre-trial preparation hearings and further case management hearings are also taking place.
  • Magistrates’ courts are now dealing with most business type hearings. Since August 2020, magistrates’ courts have been completing more cases than have been received and the number of sittings are almost at pre-covid levels. We are working hard to return this to 100%, in a COVID-safe way.
  • The judiciary has published a note of listing in magistrates’ courts during coronavirus outbreak.
  • Common Platform is our new, digital case management system, now beginning rollout to a series of early adopter courts. As each court goes live with Common Platform, defence solicitors and barristers will need to register for accounts before any hearings they attend. This will allow on-the-day check-in, self-serving access to case material, and linking to a case/defendant for payment purposes for the Legal Aid Agency.
  • All questions about paying an outstanding criminal court fine should be sent to our National Compliance and Enforcement Service at or call 0300 123 9252.




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