Many of you will be concerned at the rates of infection in London and the safety of attending court. It is important that everyone considers using remote technology wherever possible to keep footfall in court buildings to a minimum.
The following is a reminder of the process to make this as easy as possible.
Bail and requisition cases
For cases other than overnight remands please make your application as early as possible and make it to the dedicated CVP inbox for your court. The email will be cvp.[COURTNAME]@justice.gov.uk; so for Westminster Magistrates’’ Court firstname.lastname@example.org and so on.
Aim to take instructions from your client before making the application. If possible, attach the BCM or PET form with it. Where this is not possible, for example you need to speak to the prosecutor, confirm that the forms will be provided in good time on the day.
Following the remarks of the Lord Chief Justice on 5th January the interests of justice test should now be interpreted in favour of remote attendance. It is now the default position, the following quote can be used:
“The significant increase in the incidence of COVID-19 coupled with the increase in rates of transmission makes it all the more important that footfall in our courts is kept to a minimum. No participant in legal proceedings should be required by a judge or magistrate to attend court unless it is necessary in the interests of justice. Facilitating remote attendance of all or some of those involved in hearings is the default position in all jurisdictions, whether backed by regulations or not.”
Please familiarise yourself with the court’s instructions on use of CVP for NGAP and GAP hearing, https://www.lccsa.org.uk/courts-instructions-on-use-of-cvp-for-ngap-and-gap-hearing/
Though defendants no longer remain in police stations remote participation is still possible at Willesden, Thames and Bromley Magistrates’ through a phone connection to enable pre-court consultations. The courts service intends to install phone lines in other courts and I will provide updates for those.
Inner London CC sitting at the RCJ
Members likely to have a case listed for trial at the RCJ will find these two orientation maps useful on the day https://www.lccsa.org.uk/orientation-maps-for-rcj/