Arrangements during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

Arrangements during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

30 March 2020

This page provides advice and guidance for all Court users during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

A number of changes have been made to allow the work of the UK Supreme Court (UKSC) and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC) to continue, following the latest advice from the Government.

The building

The Supreme Court building in Parliament Square is closed until further notice. Staff do not have access to any documents or hard copy materials which are located there.

Hearings

Hearings are being conducted via video conferencing facilities and parties will have been contacted with the necessary information about the hearing and the testing arrangements beforehand. Hearings will be live streamed as usual although there may be a slight delay before the video on demand recording is available.

Judgments

An announcement will be made via the relevant website when a judgment is to be given. Please note that the forthcoming judgment announcement might be closer to the judgment hand-down than our usual timeframes. Judgments will be streamed from the websites in the usual way. Some changes may be made to the timing when judgments are delivered.

The Registries

The Registries of the Supreme Court and of the Judicial Committee are now operating remotely. If you have any questions which are not answered by the points below please email the registry on registry@supremecourt.uk or registry@jcpc.uk and a member of staff will contact you.

Papers for filing

All documents, forms and notices etc should be sent to the registry electronically until further notice. Parties should email their documents to the relevant registry and the document will be treated as having been filed on the next business day. If the document carries a fee, please contact the registry for our bank details.

Papers for hearings

Papers for hearings must be supplied electronically. The electronic bundle should be emailed to the relevant registry as a downloadable link as soon as it is available.

Time limits

Time limits will be applied flexibly and parties should bear in mind the provision of the overriding objective of the Rules that unnecessary disputes over procedural matters are discouraged.

Time limits, Whitsun vacation

The Registry will be closed during the Whitsun vacation period. The Registry will close at 4.30pm on Thursday 21 May 2020 and will reopen at 10am on Monday 1 June 2020.

Please note that on Monday 1 June 2019 the Registry will be open from 1000 to 1600 only. Usual hours of 1000 to 1630 will resume from Tuesday 2 June 2020.

If your time limit for filing documents expires on a business day during this vacation period, it will be extended automatically until 1 June 2020. This is provided for by UKSC Practice Direction 2.1.8 and JCPC Practice Direction 2.1.8. (Please note that this does not mean that documents due on or after 1 June 2020 are subject to any automatic extension.)

Applications for an extension of time

There is no need to make a formal application for an extension of time for any period of less than 3 weeks, unless the application relates to a hearing which is listed in the 6 weeks from the date of the application. Please just email the relevant registry with the necessary details, making sure to copy all parties into the email.

Urgent applications

Parties should contact the Registrar louise.dimambro@supremecourt.uk if an application is genuinely urgent. The relevant registry should be copied into the email.

Orders

Orders which are signed by the Registrar will be issued electronically as usual but will not be sealed.

The Registrar will be informed by the Privy Council Office about the arrangements for Orders in Council.

Listing of appeals

For the time being the Registrar is not listing any new appeals. A number of appeals were adjourned at the parties request and it will be necessary to relist them at a later date. Appeals which are already listed will go ahead as planned, using video conferencing when necessary.

Costs

Queries in relation to costs should be emailed to costs@supremecourt.uk

Visits, tours and events

As the building is closed, tours, education programmes and events have been cancelled.

If you have a query relating to a tour or educational event please email enquiries@supremecourt.uk

If you have a query relating to a private event, please email events@supremecourt.uk