Supreme Court: Current COVID-19 Protocol
Chief Justice Helen Winkelmann
6 November 2020
1. This protocol applies while COVID-19 Alert Level 1 applies in the Wellington region. It comes into effect on 9 November 2020. It replaces the protocol dated 28 September 2020.
2. At Alert Level 1, the Supreme Court/Te Kōti Mana Nui will continue normal operations.
3. The Court intends to hear all appeals and applications for leave to appeal that have been scheduled for hearing during the Alert Level 1 period. Hearings will proceed in the normal way, with all judges and counsel present in person in the Supreme Court courtroom.
4. If counsel or any self-represented party is unwell, at higher risk of severe illness, immune-compromised or with a relevant underlying health condition, they should not attend Court. If this applies, the Court should be advised so that arrangements can be made for that counsel or party to appear remotely if they are able to do so, using an audio-visual link.
5. The Supreme Court and Court of Appeal Remote Hearings Protocol will apply to any hearings involving remote participants. That protocol also governs remote access to hearings for media representatives and others.
6. Hearings will be recorded in the usual way.
7. The Supreme Court courtroom will continue to be cleaned thoroughly on a daily basis. Hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes will be available inside the courtroom. More details are available on the Ministry of Justice website. The wearing of masks is encouraged.
8. Anyone entering the Supreme Court building is encouraged to register their attendance on a list maintained by the Registrar or scan the QR code at the entrance to the building.
9. Court documents may be filed in person, by post or by email. Filing by email is encouraged. Under s 24 of the Epidemic Preparedness Act 2006, I modify the Supreme Court Rules 2004 so that applications for leave to appeal that would normally have to be filed in person or by post will be accepted for filing if filed by email.
10. Filing fees may be paid by direct credit. Please contact the Registry by email at the address below or by telephone (04 918 8222) to arrange this.
All electronic filing should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. This is also the email address for urgent enquiries.
All filing by mail should be sent to:
85 Lambton Quay
DX: SX11224, Wellington
This protocol is subject to revision.
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.
The information on this page reflects the current COVID-19 alert levels. For Supreme Court protocols during past alert levels, please refer to:
Protocol during Alert Level 2 (August-September 2020)
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