The Master of the Rolls and the Lord Chancellor have signed Practice Direction 51Y (PD) in relation to video or audio hearings during the Coronavirus pandemic. It is a technical amendment, which clarifies the manner in which the court may exercise its discretion to conduct hearings remotely in private. It also clarifies what steps the court may make to ensure access by the public to remote hearings that have been held in private through making available audio or video recordings of those hearings at a time when the courts are operating normally.
The PD is introduced as a pilot scheme under CPR Pt 51. It is intended to formalise the PD through a rule amendment at the earliest opportunity. It will remain in force for no longer than the Coronavirus Bill is intended to remain in force….