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Day 10: Wednesday, 8 April 2020
I am very grateful for all the helpful comments and questions from inside and outside Chambers. Do please feel free to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- London Central will start conducting hearings again from next Tuesday, 14 April 2020. The full message reads:
“London Central ET is re-opening for remote hearings on Tuesday 14 April. Judges will be conducting telephone/ video case management preliminary hearings and mediations on listed cases. The parties will be contacted with instructions. Please do not telephone the tribunal if at all possible, emails will be receiving attention but resources are unfortunately limited and priority is being given to cases with hearings in the near future. “Please note that the Tribunal is staffed but Victory House is closed to the public.”
- In London Central at least the technology for remote open hearings is only just being developed and, as I understand it, remote hearings will start with judges sitting alone. Having wing members will come later.
As things stand:
- All ET hearings listed to start on or before 29 June have been converted to telephone case management PHs. Some ETs (Central London and East London) have been blanket cancelling all hearings. The Presidents of the ETs will be reviewing the situation regularly, and specifically on 29 April and 29 May.
- The case management hearings continue to be marred by technical issues.
- The content of the hearings has been largely to relist for (at least) 6 months hence but longer in some regions. In some regions no final hearings / in person hearings are being listed at all. Judges have been asking parties to liaise about dealing with hearings on Skype or similar.
- Some hearings (even substantive ones, albeit not with evidence so far as I am aware) have been being dealt with over the phone.
- Some regions are able to conduct JMs remotely; others are not doing so.
- It is not yet clear how the public can be given access to remote hearings though the civil courts may be allowing hearings to be recorded.
- There will be no hearings at all in the EAT at least until 15 April 2020. Time limits continue to apply of course.
- Eleena Misra (Old Square), Jamie Anderson (Trinity Chambers) and I are coordinating an ELBA/Bar Council report to the MoJ on how the tribunal system is dealing with this crisis. Should colleagues which to contribute then please do contact me at the above address.