Royal Court gallery open again – to limited numbers

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UP to 20 members of the public can now sit in the Royal Court to observe criminal proceedings, it has been announced.

The Royal Court Building (28776948)

The gallery was closed in March at the beginning of lockdown as part of measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and spaces will now be available on a first-come-first-served basis with social-distancing restrictions in place.

The Bailiff’s Chambers have also confirmed that jury trials will restart ‘in due course’.

However, some pre-lockdown measures will remain in place with defendants in custody still appearing via video link, unless for a trial or sentencing.

And sentencings heard before the Superior Number of the Royal Court – normally consisting of at least five jurats and a judge – will continue to be heard by three jurats and a judge. This measure will remain in place until 30 September.

Those attending court for swearing-ins and nationalisations have been urged to limit the number of supporting observers to a maximum of two – with parishes requested to limit their supporters to a maximum of four people.

Meanwhile, hearings related to the employment and discrimination tribunal, the Royal Court’s family division and interlocutory hearings before the Master of the Royal Court will now take place in person, unless attendees are directed otherwise.

Those giving oral evidence in civil matters will also be required to appear in person.

And those wishing to undertake searches in the Public Registry Index and Document Enrolment system (PRIDE ) can do so but on an appointment-only basis.

Ed Taylor

By Ed Taylor

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