25 Aug 2021

Covid-19 lockdown slows down courts

3:57 pm on 25 August 2021

More than 6500 court hearings have been postponed around the country due to alert level 4 restrictions.

North Shore District Court

North Shore District Court (file image). Photo: RNZ / Cole Eastham-Farrelly

Ministry of Justice spokesperson Anton Youngman said the justice system including courts was an essential service.

Any hearings that impacted the liberty of a person were going ahead, as well as hearings which protected the at-risk or vulnerable, and other priority hearings.

Many of these were taking place via video calling.

All jury trials have been pushed back - 57 in the District Court and two in the High Court.

Youngman said the full effect of the backlog would not be known until everything was back to business as usual.

The Court of Appeal will continue hearing appeals remotely.