CRIMINAL TRIALS IN THE DISTRICT AND SUPREME COURTS ARE RESUMING
The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and Chief Judge of the District Court have recently announced that jury trials will soon be resuming for criminal proceedings in both the Supreme and District Courts.
In March 2020, jury trials in criminal proceedings were suspended as a precaution to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This has caused significant delays in trials that were suspended as well as in the listing of new trials. While these delays remain, the resuming of trial hearings is a critical step toward the resolution of matters currently before the court.
Trials will recommence 20 July 2020
The courts will be following public health advice from the Department of Justice and will implement the following measures to ensure continued health and safety of court users, and in particular jurors:
- All jurors will be provided with information on court responses to COVID-19;
- The Sherriff’s office will conduct advance screening to ensure jurors are able to undertake jury service;
- Courtrooms will have their layout modified to enable social distancing – including removing some chairs and installing barriers between remaining chairs, empanelling juries via video conference while the judge, accused and counsel are in a different room (where larger numbers of jurors and greater distancing between them is required); and
- Off-site jury deliberation rooms may be used.
Other measures such as increased notices, control over the direction of people’s movements and hand sanitiser stations will also occur.
The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the Chief Judge of the District Court have expressed that the above measures that have been taken are to ensure that jurors are able to undertake their role in the administration of justice safely.
Do you have questions?
Andrew Williams is an experienced criminal lawyer. If you are concerned about the impact of Covid-19 on you or your loved one’s court matter, or are concerned about possible criminal penalties related to Covid-19, contact the Law Offices of Andrew Williams on (08) 9278 2575 or enquire online today.
Andrew Williams Barrister and Solicitor remains open during these changing times and is ready to assist those in need of criminal legal advice and assistance.