Help & Advice by Paul Dodds Law
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Lord Burnett, the Lord Chief Justice has announced that remote working is to become the norm in the civil and family courts in his latest update on the Coronavirus outbreak.

In his message to the Judiciary yesterday Lord Burnett said, ‘The rules in both the civil and family courts are flexible enough to enable telephone and video hearings of almost everything,’

“We all need to recognise that we will be using technology to conduct business which even a month ago would have been unthinkable.

“Final hearings and hearings with contested evidence very shortly will inevitably be conducted using technology.”

He added that HM Courts & Tribunals Service is working urgently on expanding the availability of technology but in the meantime we have phones, some video facilities and Skype. ‘User information on Skype is on the intranet and otherwise widely available. Further work is being done is being done in connection with the criminal courts.’

Indicating that remote working will be less feasible for criminal proceedings, he said, ‘Particular problems are likely to be encountered in both the magistrates’ courts and the Crown courts to which careful thought is being given.’

Sources:, 19 March 2020, ‘Civil and family courts to go virtual by default – LCJ’,, 19 March 2020, ‘Courts scramble to move online as coronavirus hits trials’.