21 August 2020
We wish to inform our members that the Chamber has today written to the Minister for Justice, Equality and Governance to voice its serious concerns about matters concerning COVID-19 and the safety of members of the legal profession. The main points raised in our communication are:
- Assurance on remedial action taken following the information of court officers testing positive for COVID-19;
- The perceived lack of enforcement of the protocols which were agreed upon prior to the reopening of the Courts of Justice in June;
- Overall dilution of both the application and enforcement of agreed protocols, including by certain members of the judiciary, possibly due to apparent level of complacency at the manner in which precautionary measures are taken within the Court, particularly in the last few weeks;
- Need to identify deficiencies and revise the protocols accordingly;
- Implement the necessary legislation to allow for the conduct of virtual court sittings.
The Chamber has called for a meeting of all stakeholders to ensure that improved protocols are adopted before the re-opening of court after the summer recess, when it is expected that court sittings will be in full operation, so that the system is not overwhelmed and that the necessary measures are taken and properly communicated.
We shall continue to update you as necessary.
Louis de Gabriele