As you will be aware the UK and Scottish Government’s response to the Covid-19 crisis has escalated significantly this week. For courts and tribunals this has led to further restrictions on what is possible. “Business as usual” ceased to be viable a long time ago but in the guidance given on this website last week I indicated that we intended to go on holding First Hearings in Electronic Communications Code cases, since some of these are subject to a six month time limit. However that time limit is, along with many others no doubt, likely to be relaxed or abolished by emergency legislation and, in any event, restrictions on movement have been tightened considerably since last week. Given that the Tribunal is not set up for video or virtual hearings, what that means is that no hearings can take place while present restrictions last. We still hope to be able to deal with cases which can be dealt with on the basis of written submissions if the relevant documentation can be lodged electronically.
Members of the Tribunal and staff are working at home and George House is open only for emergency hearings required by other tribunals. All communication with the Tribunal should, therefore, now be by email, to LTS_Mailbox@scotcourtstribunals.gov.uk.
I shall let you know when anything approaching a return to normality becomes possible.
In the meantime, stay safe and well.
Lands Tribunal for Scotland
26 March 2020