Courts in a Coronavirus Pandemic – The Fallout
It is no secret that 2020 has been a difficult year for everyone. The Family Justice system was already under strain with higher numbers of children applications being made each year than the year before.
As a result of the pandemic many people found that their hearings in March or April were suddenly vacated only to be relisted later on in the year as a remote hearing, either by telephone or by a video call software such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom or CVP.
Virtual Hearings: A new era?
It is a Monday morning, I am sat at home at my desk, with a cup of tea in hand, waiting for the Judge (who is perhaps not quite as familiar with technology as some) to locate and then access his invitation to the Teams meeting, which was the Court’s chosen mechanism for this remote hearing. We wait in rather uncomfortable silence, whilst the usher assists him, each staring impassively at each other and I find myself contemplating how we ended up here.
Is the Coronavirus Pandemic a Barder Event?
2020 has been a difficult year at best for everyone. In March the government told us all to work from home and for many businesses this meant they had to close their doors. For some this was temporary but for others it was a permanent closure as despite the government schemes they could not afford the impact of lockdown.