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Committee calls for evidence into COVID-19's impact on the courts

8 June 2020

The Constitution Committee would like your views on the workings of courts and tribunals in response to the pandemic and what the future of the justice system might look like as a result.

Inquiry Background

The House of Lords Constitution Committee is undertaking an inquiry into the constitutional implications of Covid-19. It is exploring the impact of the pandemic, and the Government's response to it, in relation to the operation of the courts and tribunals.


These are some of the questions we would like your views on, but the Committee welcomes written submissions on any aspect of this topic, and particularly on the issues and questions set out in the call for evidence.

  • How effective are virtual court and tribunal proceedings?
  • What are the benefits, disadvantages and challenges of virtual proceedings?
  • What is the impact of virtual proceedings on; litigants, lawyers,  judges, court staff, media & the public?
  • What support is available to them and what is required?
  • What are the implications of virtual proceedings for; access to justice,  participation in and fairness of proceedings, transparency and media reporting & adversarial vs inquisitorial styles of proceeding?
  • Is there a case for changing the number of jurors required for trials to ensure that cases progress and social distancing can be maintained?
  • If so, what is the minimum acceptable number of jurors?
  • What types of case are proceeding, both physically and virtually, during lockdown?
  • What types of case are not making progress and what are the implications of that?


The deadline for submissions is 12pm on Thursday 20 August 2020.