With one exception all appeals to the Supreme Court since initial government guidance was issued in mid-March have been conducted remotely. That situation is likely to continue for the immediate future although the Court will seek to arrange either a full physical hearing or a so-called hybrid hearing (where some only of those involved are in a courtroom) where it considers that the interests of justice so require. As noted in the general statement, appellate hearings are more suitable for remote conduct than other types of case such as witness actions. As also noted in the general statement every case conducted remotely frees up space for the hearing of cases which are not suitable for such hearings.
I would also like to draw attention to the fact that there has been a reduction in the number of appeals coming to the Supreme Court which may well, in significant part, be due to the reduced number of cases which have, in the recent past, been able to have been conducted in both the High Court or the Court of Appeal. A significant increase in the throughput of cases in those courts is underway. It is, therefore, expected that the number of cases coming to the Supreme Court will shortly return to normal. The Court has been taking advantage of the temporarily reduced number of new cases to implement new procedures, bring the delivery of reserved judgments up to date and minimise the time between the grant of leave to appeal and the hearing. It is currently anticipated that all cases in respect of which leave to appeal has been or will be granted before the end of July will be in a position to be offered a date for hearing before the end of November. Likewise, it seems likely that any cases which are given leave to appeal during August and September will, if they can be made ready in time, be heard before Christmas.