Guidance

HMCTS daily operational summary on courts and tribunals during coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

This page provides a daily summary of the HM Courts and Tribunals Service operational position during the coronavirus pandemic. We will aim to update this page by 9am daily.

HMCTS operational summary: 6 April 2020

  • We’re consolidating the work of courts and tribunals into fewer buildings. Some building are open to the public, some buildings are staffed but are not open to the public, and some buildings are temporarily closed. The list was updated 3 April 2020
  • Updated telephone and video hearing guidance during coronavirus outbreak
  • Our Courts and Tribunals Service Centres will be available from 8am to 5pm Monday to Thursday and 8am to 4pm on Fridays until further notice
  • Our South East region will only be taking calls between 10am to 2pm in all jurisdictions (with the exceptions on the next line)
  • Chelmsford, Norwich, Ipswich and Basildon Crown Courts are temporarily unable to answer calls. The recorded message will advise you what to do
  • We’re continuing to avoid physical hearings and arranging remote hearings wherever possible
  • We’ve introduced temporary new hours in our Scotland contact centre. HMCTS Scotland contact centre opening hours 6 April 2020 (PDF, 149KB, 1 page)

Crime

  • There are no Jury trials currently underway
  • Crown Courts are dealing with a range of work, much of which is being done remotely. This includes 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 only covering urgent work. Magistrates' court cases update: 6 April 2020 (PDF, 235KB, 1 page)

Family

Civil

Tribunals

Royal Courts of Justice

Judicial announcements

HMCTS operational summary: 3 April 2020

HMCTS operational summary: 2 April 2020

HMCTS operational summary: 1 April 2020

HMCTS operational summary: 31 March 2020

HMCTS operational summary: 30 March 2020

HMCTS operational summary: 27 March 2020

  • Jury trials that are underway continue
  • No new jury trials
  • Crown Courts are only covering urgent work
  • Magistrates’ courts only covering urgent work (overnight custody and people brought from prison). Magistrates' court cases update; 27 March 2020 (PDF, 213KB, 1 page). We are working closely with partner agencies across the criminal justice system to put in place processes that will enable us to expand the range of work undertaken as soon as we can do so. We will provide further updates once we are in a position to start put these arrangements in place.
  • High Court and Court of Appeal are only covering urgent work. The High Court and Court of Appeal work update:27 March 2020 (PDF, 216KB, 1 page)
  • The Royal Courts of Justice Fees Office will temporarily close. Royal Courts of Justice Fees Office update: 27 March 2020 (PDF, 249KB, 1 page)
  • Personal attendance at hearings in the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) have been suspended and no cases are being heard today. All parties have been notified and new dates will be communicated once confirmed
  • We are suspending all ongoing housing possession action
  • We’re continuing to avoid physical hearings and arranging remote hearings wherever possible
  • We’re continuing to implement social distancing measures in courts and tribunals where physical attendance is necessary
  • Staff and judges are continuing in their essential work
  • We’re looking at how we prioritise work and deliver essential services over the coming weeks
  • Judicial Office has published a number of important updates by jurisdiction

HMCTS operational summary: 26 March 2020

  • Jury trials that are underway continue
  • No new jury trials
  • Crown Courts are only covering urgent work
  • Magistrates’ courts only covering urgent work (overnight custody and people brought from prison): Magistrates' court cases update; 26 March 2020 (PDF, 213KB, 1 page). We are working closely with partner agencies across the criminal justice system to put in place processes that will enable us to expand the range of work undertaken as soon as we can do so. We will provide further updates once we are in a position to start put these arrangements in place.
  • High Court and Court of Appeal are only covering urgent work
  • Personal attendance at hearings in the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) have been suspended and no cases are being heard today. All parties have been notified and new dates will be communicated once confirmed
  • We’ll avoid physical hearings and arranging remote hearings wherever possible
  • We’ve introduced social distancing measures in courts and tribunals where physical attendance is necessary
  • Staff and judges are continuing in their essential work
  • We’re looking at how we prioritise work and deliver essential services over the coming weeks
  • Judicial Office has published a number of important updates by jurisdiction

HMCTS operational summary: 25 March 2020

  • Jury trials that are underway continue
  • No new jury trials
  • Crown Courts are only covering urgent work
  • Magistrates’ courts only covering urgent work (overnight custody and people brought from prison): Magistrates' court cases update; 25 March 2020 (PDF, 213KB, 1 page)
  • We’ll avoid physical hearings wherever possible
  • We’ve introduced social distancing measures in courts and tribunals where physical attendance is necessary
  • We’re arranging remote hearings wherever possible
  • Staff and judges are continuing in their essential work
  • We’re looking at how we prioritise work and deliver essential services over the coming weeks

The situation may change quickly and we’ll continue to update you.

Published 25 March 2020
Last updated 6 April 2020 + show all updates
  1. 6 April update added.

  2. 3 April 2020 update added.

  3. 2 April 2020 update added.

  4. 1 April 2020 update added.

  5. 31 March 2020 update added.

  6. 30 March update added.

  7. 27 March 2020 update added.

  8. 26 March update added.

  9. First published.