Courts and Tribunals Weekly Operational Update - Coronavirus: week commencing Monday 23 November 2020

HMCTS weekly operational update during coronavirus outbreak

HMCTS weekly operational update: Week commencing Monday 23 November 2020

Next week’s update will be issued on Friday 27 November 2020.


  • Jury trials have resumed in 79 Crown Courts and are running in 5 Nightingale Courts and 4 other existing court locations.
  • Updated: We’ve installed plexiglass screens into over 300 courtrooms and jury deliberation rooms. Over 250 courtrooms have been assessed as being capable and available to hold jury trials.
  • Updated: We are installing new Portakabin® buildings to provide temporary rooms for jury assembly and deliberation. We have installed Portakabin® buildings so far at 14 court locations (Birmingham, Bradford, Caernarfon, Grimsby, Guildford, Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Newcastle, Northampton, Preston, Swansea, Teesside and Woolwich).
  • Section 28 for vulnerable victims and witnesses in Crown Courts rolls out to more courts from Monday 23 November 2020. 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.
  • 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.




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