The House of Lords Constitution Committee has asked the legal profession for its opinion on how the courts and tribunals have fared during the COVID-19 pandemic and has also asked for opinions on how the justice system should look in the future. This is part of the Committee's general enquiry into the impact of the pandemic and the government's response.
It will be interesting to see what the Committee has to say about how successful virtual proceedings have been and whether they have worked better for certain types of cases. The feedback given could shape the future of the justice system including more virtual hearings, a reduced number of jurors or perhaps even having jurors replaced by judges for some criminal trials.
How is the court system operating during the pandemic? What has been the impact of virtual proceedings on access to justice, participation in proceedings, transparency and media reporting? How will the justice system manage the increasing backlog of criminal cases? Is it appropriate to rethink the jury system during the pandemic, and beyond, and if so how?