March 17, 2020 / 10:41 PM / 22 days ago

UK to delay crown court trials because of coronavirus

LONDON, March 17 (Reuters) - Courts in England and Wales dealing with serious crimes will not start trials if they are likely to last for more than three days because of the spread of coronavirus, the head of the judiciary said on Tuesday.

“Trials in the Crown Court present particular problems in a fast-developing situation because they require the presence in court of many different participants,” the head of the courts of England and Wales, known as the lord chief justice, said in a statement.

“Given the risks of a trial not being able to complete, I have decided that no new trial should start in the Crown Court unless it is expected to last for three days or less. All cases estimated to last longer than three days listed to start before the end of April 2020 will be adjourned.” (Reporting by Sabahatjahan Contractor in Bengaluru Writing by William Schomberg; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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