Close Contact Scheme for critical justice sector workers in close contact with COVID patients rolled out in New Zealand

The Ministry of Justice and Courts New Zealand has outlined a Close Contact Scheme for critical justice sector workers in close contact with  COVID patients. Workers who cannot execute their work remotely will be allowed to continue their work if they apply for the Close Contact Exemption Scheme as long as they: are fully vaccinated…

Mandatory use of the Civil Online platform for simple procedure claims now permanent in Scotland

The system makes it mandatory for agents or party litigants to file their simple procedure claims directly via the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (“SCTS”) Civil Online platform, or by using the internet interface to the SCTS case management system. This process was brought in to mitigate the risk of face-to-face contact throughout the COVID-19…

Research shows a majority of solicitors in New South Wales hope changes to legal practice will remain in place

Research commissioned by the Law Society of New South Wales in Australia shows a majority of solicitors hope changes to legal practice brought about by COVID-19 remain in place. Respondents note that the move to remote delivery of legal services has brought a net benefit with the vast majority of solicitors in NSW hoping to…

The Scottish Parliament’s Criminal Justice Committee has released a report on reforming the criminal justice sector

The Scottish Parliament’s Criminal Justice Committee report into the criminal justice sector has highlighted the severe issues within the sector and confirmed the need to urgent change to avoid any potential disasters. The committee held a series of roundtables aimed at uncovering the short and long term steps that need to be taken to mitigate…

Victorian Legal Services Board and Commissioner outlines guidance for legal professionals when dealing with unvaccinated clients.

In an attempt to mitigate some of the challenges posed by society opening back up after lockdown, the Victorian Legal Services Board and Commissioner (VLSBC) has issued guidance for dealing with unvaccinated clients. These include general guidance on providing a safe working environment for you staff, as well as advice for new clients and existing…

Law Council of Australia releases webinar on frontline legal services in times of crisis

The Law Council of Australia has released a webinar looking at legal regulation in times of crisis, and how regulators can respond to external crises in the most effective and empathetic manner. The webinar draws on the experience of Australian regulators who have been through this years bushfires as well as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,…

Keep Distance Education for Law Schools: Online Education, the Pandemic, and Access to Justice

Abstract While distance education made inroads throughout higher education, law schools kept their distance—until a global pandemic forced them all online for a time. Then the gatekeepers to the profession at the American Bar Association and state bars temporarily dropped their limits on distance learning. Now as American law schools prepare to return to normalcy,…

Solicitors Regulation Authority of England and Wales publishes results of study into innovation in the legal sector

The Solicitors Regulation Authority of England and Wales (SRA) has published the results of its independent study into innovation in the legal sector, commissioned in March.  The study was carried out on behalf of the SRA by a research team at the University of Oxford which included Professors Mari Sako and John Armour. The study…

State Bar of California publishes digital annual report

The State Bar of California has published its second digital annual report. The report was conceptualised following the significant changes in the legal industry brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, creating rapidly changing policy goals and public protection requirements. Donna S. Hershkowitz, Interim Executive Director of the state bar had said “Despite the onset of…

Singapore Ministry of Law offers free mediation services for couples and wedding vendors impacted by COVID-19

The Singapore Ministry of Law (“MinLaw”) has introduced a new free mediation programme for parties such as couples and wedding vendors who have been impacted by new COVID-19 restrictions. The MinLaw COVID-19 (Wedding) Mediation Programme first took effect on 8 May 2021 and was introduced in recognition of the fact that many parties had to…