During the COVID-19 pandemic, reserved judgments in the Chancery Division were in most cases handed down remotely. The procedure worked well, and it seems sensible to retain it in most cases notwithstanding that the Courts have resumed routine sitting at the Rolls Building. The practice from now on will be as follows:
- Unless otherwise directed, reserved judgments in the Chancery Division will be handed down remotely, in accordance with the procedure at paragraphs 2-4 below.
- Notice of hand-down of reserved judgments will be given in the published daily cause list, as follows:
“Remote hand-down: This judgment will be handed down remotely by circulation to the parties or their representatives by email and release to The National Archives. A copy of the judgment in final form as handed down should be available on The National Archives website shortly thereafter but can otherwise be obtained on request by email to the Judicial Office (email@example.com).”
3. At the published date and time, the judgment will be sent by the clerk to the Judge, Master or ICC Judge attached to an email in the following terms:
“In accordance with the Practice Guidance dated 5 October 2022, I attach the judgment in this case by way of hand-down, which will be deemed to have occurred at [Listed Time and Date].”
4. At the same time a copy will be sent to The National Archives.
5. The final/approved version of the judgment will have this wording on the front page:
“Remote hand-down: This judgment was handed down remotely at [time] on [date] by circulation to the parties or their representatives by email and by release to The National Archives.”
6. If the Court decides that judgment should be handed down in open Court rather than remotely, the cause list will so indicate; and the parties or their representatives will be informed by the clerk to the Judge, Master or ICC Judge whether or not their attendance is required and of any matters on which their submissions may be required.
7. This guidance affects only the mode of hand-down. It does not affect anything in Practice Direction 40E.
The Rt. Hon. Sir Julian Flaux
Chancellor of the High Court
5 October 2022