Court of Appeal: Current COVID-19 Protocol

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

Protocol during Alert Level 2
Protocol during Alert Level 3
Protocol during Alert Level 4



Remote Hearings Protocol
8 June 2020: Protocol, COVID-19 Alert Level 1
6 April 2020: Direction, Execution of notices of criminal appeal and application


Remote Hearings Protocol

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.


Protocol: COVID-19 Alert Level 1

President Stephen Kós
8 June 2020

1.  This practice note applies from Wednesday 10 June 2020, following the commencement of COVID-19 Alert Level 1.  It replaces the practice notice issued on 13 May 2020.


2.  Hearings in the Court of Appeal will again be conducted in the manner predating the COVID-19 pandemic, subject to the following provisions.

3.  Counsel and parties may apply to participate in a hearing by AVL (including VMR).  The provisions of the Courts (Remote Participation) Act 2010 will apply.  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.  Members of the media covered by the In-Court Media Coverage Guidelines may apply to observe a hearing using VMR.

5.  Applications under 3. or 4. must be made at least five working days prior to the hearing.

6.  The Supreme Court and Court of Appeal Remote Hearings Protocol will apply to any hearings involving remote participants using VMR.


7.  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.


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).