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Statement from the Lord Chief Justice

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The Lord Chief Justice has issued a statement on the latest Covid-19 restrictions. Whilst (rightly) falling short of an instruction to make all court hearings remote, it does make it clear that remote hearings should be the "default position in all jurisdictions".

Lord Burnett states: "The significant increase in the incidence of COVID-19 coupled with the increase in rates of transmission makes it all the more important that footfall in our courts is kept to a minimum. No participant in legal proceedings should be required by a judge or magistrate to attend court unless it is necessary in the interests of justice. Facilitating remote attendance of all or some of those involved in hearings is the default position in all jurisdictions, whether backed by regulations or not."

He also emphasises that: "The courts and tribunals must continue to function. The position remains that attendance in person where necessary is permitted under the proposed new regulations."