THE HIGH COURT CONTINGENCY PLAN: HEARINGS DURING CORONAVIRUS
The previous post referred to the High Court contingency plan. This is available here.
“Guidance for the Business and Property Courts in Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle” is available from Kings Chambers Blog here.
High Court Business
Contingency Plan for maintaining Urgent Court Hearings
26 March 2020
Introduction to this Contingency Plan
1. The Royal Courts of Justice and the Rolls Building are putting in place plans to enable
them to continue to conduct court hearings during the current pandemic.
2. This plan identifies (i) the “urgent business” and the “business as usual” that will be
dealt with by the High Court during the pandemic, and (ii) the processes that have been
put in place to enable that to happen.
3. In outline, any business that would be sufficiently urgent to warrant an out of hours
application in normal times will be considered urgent business for the purpose of this
plan. Business that is not urgent business (“business as usual”) will also continue to
be dealt with during this period, as far as possible and in accordance with the
contingency plans put in place by the different Divisions and Courts. Urgent business
will, however, be given priority.
4. Further details on the way in which the work of different jurisdictions is being
conducted, by remote hearings wherever possible, can be found at www.judiciary.uk .
What is urgent business?
5. Urgent business is business that would warrant an out of hours application in any of
the courts covered by this plan. The courts covered by this plan are the Queen’s Bench
Division, the Administrative Court, the Court of Protection, the Business and Property
Courts of England and Wales, and the Family Division.
6. It is not appropriate to define urgent business any more closely. If the relevant duty
judge [see  below] does not consider the application to be urgent business, it will
not be dealt with.
What processes are in place for applications during normal court hours?
7. The process to be followed is similar to that followed in normal times to make an out
of hours application in the court concerned.
8. In general terms, applicants should email the relevant email address below. They will
then be referred to the duty listing officer who will work with the duty judges in the
relevant Division or Court, depending on the nature of the business, to decide what
arrangements will be made for a hearing, including a remote hearing, to take place.
That email address should also be copied in for all communications to the court.
9. The Divisions or Courts will deal according to their own separate procedures with
business as usual.
10. At any one time during the normal working week, at least one judge from each of the
Queen’s Bench Division, the Administrative Court, the Commercial Court, the
Technology and Construction Court, the Court of Protection, the Family Division and
the Chancery Division will be available to deal remotely with the business of that
jurisdiction, including urgent business. A single duty judge from each of the Queen’s
Bench Division, the Family Division and the Chancery Division will be available outside
normal working hours for the same purpose, in the usual way. The out of hours
provision remains unchanged.
QBD, including Media & Communications: firstname.lastname@example.org
Family Division: email@example.com
Chancery Division: ChanceryJudgesListing@Justice.gov.uk
Commercial Court Listing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Technology and Construction Court Listing: email@example.com
Insolvency & Companies Judges Clerks: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chancery Masters Appointments: chancery.mastersappointments@Justice.gov.uk
Administrative Court: email@example.com
The President of the Queen’s Bench Division
The Chancellor of the High Court
The President of the Family Division”