Chief High Court Judge Venning and Chief District Court Judge Taumaunu have advised the New Zealand Law Society | Te Kāhui Ture o Aotearoa and New Zealand Bar Association of arrangements being put in place for the R v Tarrant trial.
The arrangements will have an impact on other cases in Christchurch.
The trial is set down to commence on 2 June 2020. It is expected to take six weeks. During the trial, which will take place in the main courtroom on level 3, the judges have approved the use of the entirety of level 3 together with two hearing rooms on the ground floor for the purposes of the trial. They say this will be the best way to accommodate media and victims and to ensure the safety and security of all people in the law courts and general Justice and Emergency Precinct area during the trial.
During the trial, the High Court will restrict its other hearings in the courts to one court sitting for two hours each day (9am to 11am) for essential hearings only. The civil cases with hearing dates during the trial period will be heard off-site. There will be no impact on the circuit courts at Dunedin, Invercargill, Timaru and Greymouth.
There will be no District Court jury trials for the six-week period. This equates to 20 trials that could have been heard in this period, in addition to back-up trial fixtures. Five trials that had been set down in this period will be rescheduled.
The Rangatahi Court will sit at the Precinct, instead of the marae, during the six-week period.
Their Honours say any impact on other jurisdictions is still being worked through. They note that there is likely to be increased security arrangements during the trial including for counsel entering the Law Courts. There will be further information about this closer to the trial date.