The Lord Chief Justice and Senior President of Tribunals issued a message of support and encouragement on November1st2020, in light of the government’s announcement of a second nationwide lock down commencing on Thursday 5th of November 2020.Due to the essential nature of the courts and tribunals their work will be exempt from the lockdown measures.

The message stated, “courts and tribunals could continue to function including, after a short pause, by carrying on with trials in both the Magistrates’ Courts and the Crown Court. In none of our jurisdictions did work grind to a halt.”They described the legal profession, the parties, jurors, witnesses, judges, magistrates and court staff as key workers, vital to the continued running of the courts and tribunals in this proposed period of renewed significant restrictions.

They also, “urged judges across the jurisdictions to facilitate the remote attendance of participants in court proceedings where that was compatible with the interests of justice.” This is in light of The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane response to the report NFJO undertook into the use of remote hearings in the family court.

Sir Andrew McFarlane described the report as an, “important piece of independent research, which holds a mirror up to the system, and is a most valuable reflection after six months of remote working.”McFarlane continued to state, “we have every confidence that in the coming very difficult period, with the support of all those who contribute to the running of the courts, collectively we will remain equal to the many challenges ahead.”He continued to say, courts were now working more effectively and that there were even some benefits for all to working remotely.Whilst technology is improving, there is clearly still work to be done to improve the provision of Family Justice via remote means”.

Despite the second lockdown the Family Courts appear prepared to continue to deliver justice and continuously aim to work towards improving the current remote system the courts have had to adapt to.