This case involved an opposed application to adjourn a fiveweek trial listed in June 2020 in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The application to adjourn was dismissed, and the judge gave helpful guidance in terms of how best parties can prepare for such a hearing to be heard remotely. It also provides guidance in terms of the health and safety considerations, the heightened duty for parties to cooperate, and the compatibility of such hearings taking place in light of the Prime Minister’s instructions to the nation to stay at home. The judge also referred to two recent complex trials which had, for the most part, proceeded remotely without significant issue. The guidance and advice in the current climate is fast paced and frequently evolving but it seems as though courts are adapting well to these challenges, and multi-party complex cases may still well proceed. In the instant case, if the application to adjourn had been successful, the trial would not have been re-listed for a year.
This article was first published by Lexis®PSL on 09/04/2020
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