Windrush report

The Home Secretary, Priti Patel MP, has been under some pressure in recent weeks, over allegations of a bullying manner, but on 19 March she came to the House of Commons and made a statement of representative humility in response to the Windrush Lessons Learned Review. She said:


Cover up of evidence in undercover inquiry

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has found that “Materials that may have been relevant to undercover policing inquiry were shredded by Metropolitan Police personnel


Coronavirus Bill

The Coronavirus Bill 2019–21 was given its First Reading on Thursday 19 March 2020 and is due to have its second reading today, 23 March. It is a fairly massive piece of legislation, designed to make provision for all the various emergency powers and arrangements needed to cope with the pandemic. There is a House of Commons Library briefing.

ICLR news

Business as usual

ICLR will continue to write and publish law reports of all the important judgments of the senior courts, so long as the courts continue to give them, during the disruption consequent upon the current pandemic. Although all our reporters and other staff will be working from home, we will continue to deal with inquiries by email, phone and post, though please bear with us as this may take longer than usual.

User tip: Links to external content

We have adopted a simplified schema on our law research platform ICLR.3 in relation to links to content such as judgments, law reports and commentary both on the case index cards and within content itself.

Coronavirus update

This week’s Covid-19 update deals first with arrangements made in various different courts and tribunals for remote etc hearings, and then with more general commentary as to the effect of the virus and social distancing in particular areas of law. The practice directions and guidance will also be published via ICLR online (free to view) and some will appear in the printed reports as well.

Courts and tribunals generally

Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice and guidance — links to a number of separate publications of guidance and advice from the Judiciary website.

Open justice

Natalie Byrom of the Legal Education Foundation has provided a Briefing: Coronavirus Bill, Courts and the Rule of Law which “discusses the safeguards that must be put in place to ensure that access to justice and open justice are maintained under the rule of law”.

Crime: jury trials

There has been a lot of commentary (on Twitter, for example) as well as specific announcements (eg from the Bar Council) urging HMCTS to stop jury trials, which cannot be managed remotely and by their very nature involve close physical proximity within a particular space. Till today, the official line announced by the Lord Chief Justice (on 17 March 2020) was that current jury trials and any new jury trials of three days expected duration or less would continue to take place but trials of longer expected duration would be postponed. Today’s message from the Lord Chief Justice (23 March 2020) appears to have changed that position:

Civil courts

In the civil courts, meanwhile,

Family courts

Sir Andrew McFarlane, President of the Family Division and Head of Family Justice has issued COVID 19: National Guidance for the Family Court

Court of Protection

Hayden J, Vice President of the Court of Protection has issued Court of Protection: Guidance (COVID-19)

First-tier Tribunals and Upper Tribunal

Sir Ernest Ryder, Senior President of Tribunals has issued:

Employment tribunals

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Message from Presidents of the Employment Tribunals in England & Wales and in Scotland directing that

Public inquiries

A statement from the chair of the Grenfell Tower inquiry, Sir Martin Moore-Bick, issued on 16 March 2020, explains that

Legal professions

BSB: COVID –19 : Statement by the Bar Standards Board

Employment law

UK Labour Law blog: Legislating in Times of Crisis: The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Information law

Panopticon blog: Coronavirus and Information Law

Media law

Inforrm’s blog:


The Secret Barrister:

Human rights

The British Institute of Human Rights: The Corona Virus Bill and human rights

Commercial law

11KBW: Thoughts on financial regulation in the time of Covid-19

Housing law

Nearly Legal:

Legal practice

In a thread on Twitter, Catherine Baksi has been collecting examples of how Covid-19 has been affecting the courts, lawyers and justice system:

And finally…

Tweet of the week

Now that we’re all doing Skype for Business or Zoom from home:

Featured image via Shutterstock.