The Divisional Court has dismissed a challenge to the temporary cessation of jury trials due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Claimant challenged a decision to extend the time he could be held in custody on remand, due to his impending jury trial not being able to be held safely. He argued that the decision to pause jury trials had to be made by primary legislation because it curtailed his right of access to the courts, and that the Lord Chief Justice’s decision to pause jury trials was therefore ultra vires. He further argued that the Crown Court judge’s discretion was fettered by a coronavirus Protocol. The Divisional Court (Rafferty LJ and Sir Michael Supperstone) dismissed the challenge on all grounds.
The full judgment can be read here.
Sir James Eadie QC and Daniel Cashman acted for the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice.