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Covid 19 court policy

His Majesty's Senior Coroner for East London, Graeme Irvine notes that the Prime Minister has announced (21 February 2022) changes to COVID-19 rules in England.

We’re working with Public Health officials to determine what this means for our court and will give as much notice as possible of any changes.

The court will continue to require visitors to wear face coverings and observe social distancing measure given that it is a confined and naturally ventilated space.

East London Coroners court recognises that its premises pose an elevated risk for the transmission of infection of COVID – 19 given the nature of persons attending court, which include; relatives of the recently deceased, members of the frontline emergency services, undertakers, pathologists and doctors.

The Court will continue to hold public hearings, but subject to representations from participants, where possible hearings will be heard as “partially remote” hearings in which the Coroner sits in open court and participants join over the video link.

We would urge all court users to reflect prior to attending the court in person, in many cases physical visits to the court can be avoided.

In the meantime;

•             Face coverings will still be required in our staff, public and communal parts of our buildings.

•             Based on the particular assessed risk to detainees and those working and visiting our custody suites – the areas will continue with all social distancing measures introduced during the pandemic such as touchpoint cleaning, locked down phones, reduced numbers and fluid-resistant surgical masks (FRSMs).

•             To reduce the risk of the virus spreading, the continued use of screens or barriers to separate people from each other who will come into close proximity with others they do not normally meet.

Graeme Irvine

His Majesty's Senior Coroner

East London

 

Press and Public observing Coroner’s Inquest hearings online.

On 28 June 2022, section 85A of the Courts Act 2003, and the Remote

Observation and Recording (Courts and Tribunals) Regulations 2022 (‘the

Regulations’) came into effect. These provisions allow the remote observation of

proceedings in any court, including coroners' courts.

As a result of these provisions, it is lawful to use video/audio livestreaming to

transmit proceedings to the public and/or press.

As the regulations make clear, no one has an absolute right to observe a hearing remotely, however a coroner

may decide to permit remote attendance if they are satisfied that;

  1. it would be in the interests of justice,
  2. there is the capacity and technological capability to enable it, and
  3. it would not create an unreasonable administrative burden.

If you would like to observe a hearing remotely, you must contact us in writing (preferably by email) before 12.00 noon the day before a scheduled hearing, using the following address:

coroners@walthamforest.gov.uk 

telling us:

  1. Your name,
  2. Your email address,
  3. The hearing you would like to observe,
  4. Why you wish to observe the hearing (this may be as simple as “I am a member of the press” or “ I am an interested member of the public”).

At present, the court will facilitate access through the use of Microsoft Teams – a free to use, video conferencing application that can be used on computers, smartphones and tablet devices.