National | Court

Courthouse operations adjust to lockdown circumstances

A judicial briefing was held in the Auckland Courthouse today to clarify some of the changes that are being made in courtrooms nationwide during this 'lockdown' period.

Trials that require witnesses have also all been adjourned until further notice

- to minimise the number of people within a courtroom at any given time.

One of the main items discussed and outlined included that of hearings that are to be conducted digitally, only as a temporary option.

Chief Justice, Helen Winkelmann addressed how the nature of hearings are to be conducted, temporarily until further notice.

"In the last nine days we've also increased the number of hearing conducted remotely, initially this was being done by the papers, on the phone, or using AVL.

"Judges have been doing all that we can under the 'Epidemics Preparedness Act' to allow digital filing.

"You may be wondering why we don't allow digital filing all the time. The reality is, that this can only operate in the short term because the court does not have the system necessary to support digital files."

An enhanced cleaning regime will also be established throughout all courtrooms and correction facilities with a designated health and safety organiser being instituted.