The Courts Service has established a contingency planning group to review its plans to meet the challenges caused by the arrival of COVID-19 in Ireland.
Business continuity plans for courthouses and buildings are being updated and reviewed, and will be monitored on an ongoing basis. Official HSE guidance has now issued to staff, and is being followed.
Communications plans are in place for Judges, staff and court users – for use in the event of any changes to schedules or cancellations.
An extensive ICT contingency plan is in progress in the event of Courts Service buildings being unavailable and the issues associated with closing services, if deemed necessary, are being examined.
Additional sanitisation of public offices and courtrooms has been arranged and hygiene supplies for public offices and hand sanitisers for public areas are being installed currently.
Managers are holding staff meetings to discuss and update information.
Protection for staff and customers:
Following HSE guidelines we have increased cleaning regimes appropriately.
There are no current plans to cancel court sittings – but contingency plans are in place and are being constantly reviewed.
In the event of a localised incidence of the virus we will take the advice of the HSE as to what actions to take. Our plans include arrangements to support court sittings, in ways which include modern technology.
· Our Media Relations Service will facilitate general queries from and liaise with the media on changes to court operations – if they are to happen.
· This website will have a pinned news article or notification banner at the top of the home page so that anyone who uses the website will be easily able to find information/updates on the plans/procedures in place.
· Our Twitter and Facebook accounts will also feature links to information updates and will include tagging to the Bar Council, Law Society and Garda Síochana accounts – to reach as many in the justice community and court users as possible.