Parties to proceedings should work on the basis that court hearings will proceed as scheduled unless directed otherwise by the court. While it is hoped that court hearings will generally proceed as scheduled, there may have to be more spacing out of hearings and some may even have to be adjourned.
For civil proceedings, there will be greater use of alternative modes where appropriate, including remote hearings (using video-conferencing facilities or phones) and/or paper disposals. The court will give directions for individual cases in this regard.
To maximize the use of courtrooms, the sitting hours of court hearings may be changed.
However, court proceedings will fully resume from 1 March as far as possible. Subject to the court’s directions, court hearings may run for the whole day instead of only half days. However, for social distancing and crowd management purposes, proceedings involving a large number of court users will continue to be fixed at appropriate times and intervals. If a hearing cannot be held as scheduled, the relevant parties have been or will be notified separately.
All court users should go onto the Judiciary’s website to check whether their proceedings will proceed as originally scheduled before they come to court.
Handing down of Judgments
From 7 December 2020 onwards until further notice, parties of High Court proceedings need not come to the court to collect judgments. The judgments will, as far as practicable, be uploaded onto the Judiciary’s website within the same day when they are handed down. For cases of great media or public interest, the judgments will continue to be uploaded onto the website immediately after handing down. Hard copies of the judgments will be sent by ordinary post to the parties who have not come to the court to collect the judgments.
The Judiciary may consider extending the above arrangements to the other levels of court as appropriate, in which case notice will be given to the parties.