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Directives on Judicial Functions During COVID-19 Lockdown Drawn Up

April 22, 2020

Office of the Chief Justice

Directives designed to provide guidance in relation to how judicial functions are to be managed and performed during the COVID-19 lockdown have been drawn up.

The office of the chief justice published the Directives in Government Gazette 43241.

The Directives apply to the extended period of the lockdown.

The aim of the Directives is also to delegate, to all Heads of Court, the authority to take such action and issue such Directions as may be necessary to give effect to the Directives.

According to the Directives, parties that wish to have a matter removed from a court roll shall jointly do so by issuing notice, in accordance with the practice of the Court or Division concerned.

Only urgent applications and urgent matters arising from the activities associated with disaster management may be heard in open court during the lockdown period.

The directives focus on criminal trials, civil trials, applications, appeals, application for leave to appeal and judicial case flow management.

Criminal trials already set down for hearing during the lockdown period must be brought forward by arrangement with all the relevant parties, and postponed to dates beyond the lockdown period.

As regards civil trials, all trials enrolled for hearing during the lockdown period will be removed from the trial roll and re-enrolment will be in accordance with a procedure determined by the Head of Court.