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Judiciary adjusts its operations amid the Covid-19 pandemic | 12 January 2021

Judiciary adjusts its operations amid the Covid-19 pandemic

From January 11 to February 12, 2021 the bulk of the court rooms will be closed (Photo: Joena Meme)

Due to the recent development regarding Covid-19 in Seychelles, from January 11 to February 12, 2021 the bulk of the court rooms will be closed but the Judiciary will be operational.

This is to ensure safety in the courthouses through social distancing techniques and limiting the number of court users, increasing the safety for court users and staff.

As of yesterday, the Supreme Court is taking sittings in Court room 1 at the Palais de Justice, while the Magistrates Court will be taking all sittings in Court room D in the Magistrates Court Building.

Duty judges and magistrates are rostered and will sit to address any remands, urgent matters and applications, and postpone other cases for all criminal cases cause listed for that day.

All remands will be taken via video link, while Constitutional Court cases would be heard and determined as cause listed during this period given their high public importance.

Urgent civil cases will be heard during this period, while judgments and rulings will be delivered as per the cause list and a soft copy will be forwarded via email to counsels by the Registrar.

Sittings will be at 9.30am and 1.30pm, and for the purpose of clarifications, parties may accompany their counsels but they will have to wait outside the court room in designated areas until their cases are called.

Those unrepresented will also have to wait outside the court room in designated areas until their cases are called.

This is to ensure that there is proper social distancing inside the court room taking into consideration that only one court room will be in use.

Only one Prosecutor or State Counsel is required to be present and must be briefed to take all cases and produce all required documents.

Where the State Counsel or Prosecutor is not properly briefed, they should be prepared to take instructions in all cases from the usual State Counsel or prosecutor handling the file (which person should be available to take any calls and brief the State Counsel or prosecutor appearing in the case).

This is to prevent unnecessary exposure to officers of the department.

If the State Counsel/prosecutor does not object to a bail application, conditions may be imposed by the duty Judge or Magistrate, even in the absence of the attorney for the accused.

For Family Tribunal, a panel of members will meet on Wednesday and Friday at 9.30am to hear urgent matters and breaches which may have arisen during the week.

Everyone should remember to go through the screening process and to sanitise their hands while entering the buildings.

While inside the buildings, everyone should refrain from going to other locations such as registries, cashier, etc if there is no need for you to go to these locations.

It is to note that the library will be closed for counsels during this period.                  

 

Department of Judiciary/Roland Duval

 

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