19th March 2020
Dear Court User
Following on from the guidance given by the Lord Chief Justice and the President of the Family Division today the Judiciary and staff at Bristol are assessing as quickly as possible which hearings can take place using the telephone, skype or video facilities and which hearings will still remain listed as an attended hearing. We will notify the parties in any case in which the current listing is changed.
Can I assure you that we are aware of all relevant guidance (including that given by the Bar Council) and do not need to be referred to it. At the moment the court staff are receiving so many references to guidance and requests for information that they cannot possibly respond (given that a significant number of staff have had to self-isolate) and it is delaying the process of assessing current listings.
We ask you to bear with us during this most difficult of times and only to e-mail/contact the court when it is truly necessary.
HHJ Cotter QC
Designated Civil Judge for Avon, Somerset and Gloucestershire.