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All New Jury Trials To Be Postponed Due To Covid-19 Virus

All new jury trials in England and Wales have been halted until they can be conducted safely, the Lord Chief Justice has announced.

In a letter to judges and magistrates, Lord Burnett said the decision was made to “ensure social distancing in court” amid the ongoing spread of coronavirus. But he added that, where safe to do so, “efforts to bring existing jury trials to a conclusion should continue”.

Scotland and Northern Ireland have already taken similar measures.

The Lord Chief Justice’s decision builds on one from last week, when it was announced that no new Crown Court trials would take place in England and Wales if they were expected to last longer than three days. On the subject of current jury trials, the Lord Chief Justice said: “Social distancing in accordance with PHE guidelines must be in place at all times and at all places within the court building.” He added: “If it is necessary to adjourn trials already under way for a short period to put those safety measures in place, this must be done.”