Only senior press officers/press representatives will be allowed to attend courts throughout the length and breadth of Guyana as the judiciary ramps up its efforts to protect against the deadly global pandemic– novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
In a press statement today, the Office of the Chancellor of the Judiciary said, “The media must choose senior press officers or press representatives to attend court and share information when covering cases rather than having all media houses present in Court.”
The judiciary, in promoting social distancing is encouraging lawyers, litigants and customers of the court to utilize emails, telephone conference calls, Zoom/Skype and other related technology, in order to minimize “in person” attendance at court and hearings of cases.
According to the statement, where ‘in person’ hearings are permitted – the protocols in relation to social distancing must be followed.
These include: only attorneys-at-law; persons/litigants and witnesses connected with the matter will be allowed to enter the court yard and/or court room; distance of at least three feet must be maintained between persons.
Therefore, attendance in court will be limited to attorneys-at-law, litigants and witnesses. The Officer of the Chancellor said that it will be for the presiding judge or magistrate to determine whether and when any such persons should attend court, if necessary.
“The judge or magistrate will decide who will be accommodated in court, given the need for social distancing. Members of the public are not to come to any court unless specifically requested to do so by the Court or by a lawyer,” the statement added.
The Judiciary noted that based on the advisories from the World Health Organisation, persons having flu like symptoms, or who are otherwise ill or are caring for persons with such conditions, or who are in the high-risk or vulnerable category of persons are advised not to enter the court compounds.
Any questions, queries or clarifications needed on any matter in court or on the protocols, can be addressed by contacting the Registrar or Deputy Registrar of the Supreme Court on Telephone Nos.:227-1223, 226-8487, 226-7947 or by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org