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Lord Chancellor on COVID-19 and the courts

21 July 2020

The Constitution Committee holds its final evidence session on the courts as part of its inquiry into the constitutional implications of COVID-19. The Committee hears from the Rt Hon. Robert Buckland QC MP, Lord Chancellor and Susan Acland-Hood, Chief Executive, HMCTS.

Background

The Committee's inquiry was launched to consider the significant constitutional implications of the pandemic and the Government's response to it. This includes the ability of Parliament to hold the Government to account, scrutiny of emergency powers and the operation of the courts.

Witnesses

Wednesday 22 July at 10.30am

  • The Rt Hon. Robert Buckland QC MP, Lord Chancellor
  • Susan Acland-Hood, Chief Executive, HMCTS

Possible questions

  • How effective are remote proceedings? What investment or new processes are required to ensure that virtual court proceedings can be conducted adequately?
  • What assessment have you made of the implications of reducing the size of juries, or replacing juries in some cases with judges and magistrates?
  • What measures are necessary to ensure that socially and economically vulnerable litigants and those with low literacy or digital literacy can access justice?
  • How soon can we expect ‘pop-up' courts to be operational, and for which type of cases?
  • How will the substantial, and rising, backlog of cases be addressed?

Further information