HMCTS weekly operational update for week commencing Monday 7 June 2021
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Next week’s update will be issued on Friday 11 June 2021.
- Updated: Last week we opened a new Nightingale court at the Mercure Maidstone. The court provides two non-custodial crown courtrooms for jury trials. As with all our Nightingale courts, the court has been set up on a temporary basis to provide additional courtroom capacity and meet local operational needs.
- Updated: Technical issues affected access to some of our online services for a short period on Friday 4 June 2021. If you received an error message when emailing one of our services, please resend it as soon as you can.
- Our courts and tribunals continue to operate as an essential public service, including in areas where the new COVID19 variant is spreading. Everyone required to attend a hearing in person, including jurors and professional users, can travel to our buildings. All our buildings are COVID-secure. Read more about coming to court and our guidance for all users during the pandemic.
- We are carrying out essential IT improvements next weekend in our Court and Tribunal Service Centres. The following services will be temporarily unavailable from 4.30pm on Friday 4 June 2021 until 8am on Monday 7 June 2021: Family Public Law and Adoption, Virtual Hearings, Audio and Video Helpline, Immigration and Asylum Chamber and Online Civil Money Claims. We are sorry for any delays or inconvenience caused.
- We actively encourage our staff and all court users to support their local authorities by taking part in surge testing in areas affected by variants of concern. We also strongly encourage everyone to continue with twice-weekly asymptomatic rapid testing regardless of their vaccination status. Anyone who tests positive should self-isolate and follow the latest NHS advice.
- Home testing kits are available from all English and Welsh courts and tribunal sites and will be offered to all professional court users, legal professionals, judiciary, contractors, jurors, witness services and staff who attend scheduled hearings.
- Updated: Common Platform is now live in 46 courts (33 Magistrates’ and 13 Crown Courts). In June, the system will roll out to 7 more sites covering 39 courts across the North East, South East, Wales, North West, South West, and the Midlands Defence firms and chambers working with these courts can register their legal practitioners now for user accounts.
- Defence professionals can also watch our video learning guide for Common Platform.
- The senior judiciary and HMCTS have developed a 5-point plan for the recovery of magistrates’ adult and youth courts dealing with criminal matters.
- Updated: A pilot digital service for Damages Claims enables legal professionals to submit a personal injury claim or other type of unspecified claim digitally. They can manage and progress the claim themselves for the initial stages of the claim process. Initially a 3-month pilot with a few firms, we hope to extend the number of solicitors’ firms taking part from early autumn.
- Changes to civil fees came into force on 18 May 2021. This follows an MoJ consultation in December 2020. The statutory instrument (SI) has passed through parliament, and was voted through on 27 and 28 April 2021.
- Updated: We are hosting two webinars on E-Filing for the Upper Tribunal Lands Chamber to assist practitioners and litigants in person to use the new service once it comes into effect. Sign up for webinars on Tuesday 8 June 2021 and Thursday 10 June 2021 at 10am.
Royal Courts of Justice
- The Royal Courts of Justice have published updated Adminstrative Court Office user guidance.
- The Royal Courts of Justice remains open to the public, however some counters and court facilities have temporarily closed. There is currently no counter service in the Court of Appeal (Civil and Criminal), Queen’s Bench Division, Administrative Court or Mayor’s and City Court. There is a counter service by appointment only in the Fees Office, High Court Family and Central London County Court. Café 26 remains closed.