Sunday, July 18, 2021

COVID-19 and military justice (UK)

Despite Prime Minister Boris Johnson's plan to lift COVID-19 restrictions tomorrow, Britain's military courts will continue to take precautions. Here is the official announcement:

The Prime Minister announced on 12 July 2021 that COVID-19 restrictions will be fully lifted on 19 July 2021 as planned. We have reviewed the impact of this decision on the operation of the Military Court Centres and taken into account a variety of factors including the need to maintain the operation of the courts during what will be a challenging phase of the pandemic.

From 19 July 2021
There will be NO CHANGE to all our current COVID-19 mitigation measures as a condition of entry into the court centres, including the wearing of face masks in public areas. This decision will be subject to regular review.

The presumption that Plea and Trial Preparation Hearings (PTPHs) and other hearings will be held with all parties attending over live link will continue to apply. Judges will also consider whether witnesses can attend trials over live links and are likely to direct such a course more regularly than before the pandemic. Sentencing hearings with some or all of defendant/Defence Assisting Officer/counsel attending remotely are likely to continue, but this will be a matter for judicial discretion.

We are both very grateful for everyone’s continued support and patience during what is a difficult and challenging period.

Alan Large, Judge Advocate General

Cleaven Faulkner, Director Military Court Service

15 July 2021

Published 16 July 2021

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