Court of Appeal: Current COVID-19 Protocol

Contents

5 March 2021: Alert Level 1 and Alert Level 2: Practice Note of 19 October 2020 resumes effect as of 6 am on Sunday 7 March 2021

6 April 2020: Direction, Execution of notices of criminal appeal and application

Remote hearings

Protocols during past alert levels

 

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Practice Note: COVID-19 Alert Level 1 and Alert Level 2

President Stephen Kós
19 October 2020
(resumes effect as of 6 am on Sunday 7 March 2021):

1.  This practice note applies forthwith. It replaces the practice notice issued on 28 September 2020. It sets out practices to be applied where hearings are conducted at locations that are either within a COVID-19 Level 1 alert area or a COVID-19 Level 2 alert area.

2.  Hearings in the Court of Appeal will be conducted in the usual way, subject to the following provisions.

Hearings conducted at a location within a COVID-19 Alert Level 1 area

3.  Counsel and parties in hearings may apply to participate by AVL (including VMR). Particular consideration will be given to any health vulnerabilities of participants, the distance that would otherwise have to be travelled and the likely length and complexity of the hearing. 

4.  Persons attending the Court are encouraged to register their attendance by scanning the QR code.

Hearings conducted at a location within a COVID-19 Alert Level 2 area

5.  Counsel and parties may elect to participate in a hearing by AVL (including VMR).

6.  Persons present in a courtroom must register their attendance either on a list maintained by the Registrar (or court taker, in the case of counsel) or by scanning the QR code.

7.  Persons attending the Court must observe hygiene and social distancing requirements. They should wear face masks in public areas and courtrooms, other than when required to speak in court.

8.  Documents may not be handed up to the Bench, but must be emailed to the Court by 4:00 pm the day prior to the hearing.   

General

9.  Notice of intention to participate by AVL (as above) must be given at least five working days prior to the hearing.

10.The provisions of the Courts (Remote Participation) Act 2010 and the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal Remote Hearings Protocol will apply to any AVL hearings.

11.Members of the media covered by the In-Court Media Coverage Guidelines may apply to observe a hearing using VMR.

12.Hearings will continue to be recorded in the usual way.

13.Courtrooms will be cleaned thoroughly on a daily basis.  Benches will be cleaned after each use.  Hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes will be available inside the courtroom.

14.Documents should be filed by email at courtofappeal@justice.govt.nz. Those who cannot file by email may file by post to the Registry in Wellington but, due to hygiene requirements, processing of documents sent from locations within a Level 2 alert area may be delayed.

15.Special directions permitting execution by counsel of criminal applications and appeals continue to apply until further notice.

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Practice Note: COVID-19 Alert Level 2 and Alert Level 3

President Stephen Kós
14 February 2021
- reinstated 28 February 2021

1.  This practice note applies from midnight Sunday, 14 February, following the recommencement of Covid-19 Alert Level 2 (and Level 3 in the Auckland region).

2.  Courts are an essential service. At Alert Level 2, and subject to the restrictions noted below, the Court of Appeal will continue to carry out all usual scheduled work that can safely be supported. This requires the co-operation of all participants to ensure the Court functions fully, but safely, in the performance of its constitutional responsibilities.

Hearings

3.  Hearings in Wellington will be conducted in the usual way, subject to the provisions of this practice note. Participants may however elect instead to join oral hearings by approved audio‑visual.

4.  Hearings in Auckland will be conducted by approved audio‑visual or audio link only until return to Level 2 or below. Because registry officers will not be available in the Court of Appeal at Auckland this week, counsel and the public may participate via remote audio-visual or audio link only.

5.  The Supreme Court and Court of Appeal Remote Hearings Protocol will apply to any hearings involving remote participants. That protocol also governs media and public access to hearings.

6.  Hearings will continue to be recorded in the usual way.

7.  Documents may not be handed up to the Bench during Level 2 or above, but must be emailed to the Court by 4pm the day prior to the hearing.

Health and safety

8.  Courtrooms continue to be cleaned thoroughly on a daily basis. Benches will be cleaned after each use.  Hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes will be available inside the courtroom.

9.  Persons present in a courtroom and courthouse must register their attendance by scanning the QR code or on a list maintained by the Registrar (or court taker, in the case of counsel) and observe hygiene and social distancing requirements. They may elect to wear a mask and gloves.

10. In the event of community transmission within a relevant courthouse catchment area, public health advice will be taken, and further directions given. Steps may be taken to reduce in-person attendances at the Court to help protect those working or appearing there.

Filing of documents

11. Court documents are to be filed by email, at the following address:  courtofappeal@justice.govt.nz.

12. Those who cannot file by email may file by post or file in person at the Registry, provided hygiene requirements are followed. Due to hygiene requirements, processing of these documents may be delayed significantly.

13.  Special directions permitting execution by counsel of criminal applications and appeals continue to apply. Those directions appear on the Courts of New Zealand website.

14.  Filing fees remain payable in the usual way, this includes the file and pay service.

 


Pratice Note: COVID-19 Alert Level 1 and Alert Level 2

President Stephen Kós
19 October 2020

1.  This practice note applies forthwith. It replaces the practice notice issued on 28 September 2020. It sets out practices to be applied where hearings are conducted at locations that are either within a COVID-19 Level 1 alert area or a COVID-19 Level 2 alert area.

2.  Hearings in the Court of Appeal will be conducted in the usual way, subject to the following provisions.

Hearings conducted at a location within a COVID-19 Alert Level 1 area

3.  Counsel and parties in hearings may apply to participate by AVL (including VMR). Particular consideration will be given to any health vulnerabilities of participants, the distance that would otherwise have to be travelled and the likely length and complexity of the hearing. 

4.  Persons attending the Court are encouraged to register their attendance by scanning the QR code.

Hearings conducted at a location within a COVID-19 Alert Level 2 area

5.  Counsel and parties may elect to participate in a hearing by AVL (including VMR).

6.  Persons present in a courtroom must register their attendance either on a list maintained by the Registrar (or court taker, in the case of counsel) or by scanning the QR code.

7.  Persons attending the Court must observe hygiene and social distancing requirements. They should wear face masks in public areas and courtrooms, other than when required to speak in court.

8.  Documents may not be handed up to the Bench, but must be emailed to the Court by 4:00 pm the day prior to the hearing.   

General

9.  Notice of intention to participate by AVL (as above) must be given at least five working days prior to the hearing.

10.The provisions of the Courts (Remote Participation) Act 2010 and the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal Remote Hearings Protocol will apply to any AVL hearings.

11.Members of the media covered by the In-Court Media Coverage Guidelines may apply to observe a hearing using VMR.

12.Hearings will continue to be recorded in the usual way.

13.Courtrooms will be cleaned thoroughly on a daily basis.  Benches will be cleaned after each use.  Hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes will be available inside the courtroom.

14.Documents should be filed by email at courtofappeal@justice.govt.nz. Those who cannot file by email may file by post to the Registry in Wellington but, due to hygiene requirements, processing of documents sent from locations within a Level 2 alert area may be delayed.

15.Special directions permitting execution by counsel of criminal applications and appeals continue to apply until further notice.

 


Direction: Execution of notices of criminal appeal and application

President Stephen Kós
6 April 2020

1.  Rule 8(1) of the Court of Appeal (Criminal) Rules 2001 requires a notice of appeal or application to be signed by an appellant personally.

2.  This requirement is often impracticable under the current Level 4 state of emergency.

3.  Pursuant to r 4(3) of the same Rules, I direct that until further notice the Court will accept for filing a notice of appeal or application signed by counsel, provided counsel:

a)  certifies that personal execution by the appellant is presently impracticable;

b)  certifies that the notice has been read by or to, and approved by, the appellant; and

c)  undertakes that an original notice signed by the appellant will be filed as soon as practicable (and prior to any fixture being allocated).

 


Remote hearings

The Supreme Court and Court of Appeal have issued a protocol for conducting remote hearings.

This contains procedural instructions and technical information for counsel, parties, witnesses, media, and other observers who will be remotely participating in hearings in these Courts.

The Protocol also contains instructions for people who wish to attend a hearing in person.  Please refer to these instructions if you are unsure whether you are able to attend in person.

 


Protocols during past alert levels

The information on this page reflects the current COVID-19 alert levels.  For Court of Appeal protocols during past alert levels, please refer to:

28 February 2021: Alert Level 2 and Alert Level 3 Practice Note of 14 February 2021 resumes effect 28 February 2021
19 October 2020: Practice Note, COVID-19 Alert Level 1 and Alert Level 2
Protocol during Alert Level 1 (Alert Level 2 in Auckland) issued 28 September 2020
Protocol during Alert Level 2 issued 7 September 2020
Protocol during Alert Level 3 (August 2020, Auckland region)
Protocol during Alert Level 1
Protocol during Alert Level 2 (May-June 2020)
Protocol during Alert Level 3 (April-May 2020)
Protocol during Alert Level 4