Important News: Re-Resumption of Jury Trials – 12.05.20

We have all had to be very patient whilst we learn to understand the challenges that we face with COVID-19 and its impact on the courts.

Yesterday, the Lord Chief Justice together with the Lord Chancellor announced that jury trials would commence. This process has three stages. Each stage will be very considered and be subject to review.

Stage 1:
Up to eight courts are being considered as suitable for trial in stage 1.
They are:

  1. The Old Bailey
  2. Bristol
  3. Cardiff
  4. Manchester Minshull street
  5. Reading
  6. Warwick
  7. Winchester
  8. Nottingham

The final sign off for the courts will take place later this week and until that has taken place these court centres are not confirmed.

It is likely that Cardiff and the Old Bailey will commence on the 18th May, with other court centres following suit. This will be a slow and managed process so that should any matters arise they can be considered in a careful and thoughtful way. Safety is paramount.

Those who are in those trials will no doubt be aware already and those who’s cases are being considered will likewise be informed.

There will be more information available later this week but we do ask that you exercise patience.

Stage 2: 
This will follow a rollout across the country of other suitable sites in a similar manner. There is no specific set date for this, but It is intended that this will happen in the coming weeks or months as we move through and learn from stage 1.

Stage 3: 
This is a more general restarting of jury trials across the system, it is not imminent and will be determined at a later stage.

A large amount of work has been done by HMCTS who are following Government Guidelines. A number of interested parties, including Public Health England and Public Health Wales have been involved in this process.

Stay safe!

Best wishes,

Caroline Goodwin QC
Chair
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