The measures introduced to tackle the spread of COVID-19 resulted in rapid changes to the operation of courts and tribunals across England and Wales. Across the tribunals system, measures were put in place to protect public safety and ensure that tribunals were able to function and hear cases wherever possible. A range of procedural and practical changes were adopted: tribunals were encouraged to triage their caseload and to decide cases “on the papers”, the use of remote hearings was expanded and rules on party compliance with directions were relaxed to take account of the unprecedented circumstances of the pandemic.
Taken together, these changes constituted a significant shift in the operation of tribunals. The Senior President of Tribunals and leadership judges were keen to explore the impact of these changes on the experience of the tribunals judiciary, to identify opportunities to refine the processes put in place, and to guide future developments. In order to assist them in this task, they commissioned a survey—this report presents the findings from that exercise.
This report presents the findings of an online survey of judicial office holders. The survey was designed with the support of the Senior President of Tribunals and Chamber Presidents. This survey was distributed via email and was open to all judicial office holders who had participated in hearings between 19 March 2020 and 31 July 2020. 1507 judicial office holders completed the survey in full—only those respondents who completed the survey in full were included in the analysis.
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