New Zealand Law Society - COVID-19 information

COVID-19 information

On this page you will find all the latest information about how New Zealand’s response to COVID-19 is impacting the legal profession. We will continue to update this page as alert levels change, and will provide regular updated advice from reputable sources for the law profession.

Current situation

23/06/2021: The Wellington region moved to Alert Level 2 from 6pm Wednesday 23 June 2021.

Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and Wellington High Court
Matters before the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal are continuing as scheduled. For the Wellington High Court matters will continue, provided they can be accommodated safely within Alert Level 2 restrictions.

Wellington, Lower Hutt, Masterton and Porirua District Courts
Jury trials will continue, provided they can be accommodated safely in accordance with Alert Level 2 restrictions. Any jury trials that cannot safely be accommodated at Alert Level 2 will be adjourned or stood down.

Further information on Court protocols can be found on the Courts of New Zealand website

Law Society offices and libraries
All Law Society offices remain open. You will be asked to physically distance and sign in using the COVID tracer app if visiting our National Office in Wellington.

Our Wellington library will be accessible only to lawyers with an access card. Requests can be made to our library team via email wellington@nzlslibrary.org.nz or phone 04 473 6202.

Guidance for lawyers

Family Court
Principal Family Court Judge Jacquelyn Moran has released details of a new system for adoption applications in the Family Court for families in international surrogacy arrangements caught out by COVID red tape delays.

Please contact us if there is specific guidance that you require. Call +64 4 472 7837 or email Covid19@lawsociety.org.nz.

If there is a change to alert levels we will re-publish relevant guidance on this page.

Courts

Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and Wellington High Court
The Chief Justice has announced that matters before the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal will continue as scheduled. For the Wellington High Court matters will continue, provided they can be accommodated safely within Alert Level 2 restrictions.

Court staff will contact participants directly. There are no jury trials scheduled in the Wellington High Court for the remainder of this week.

Wellington, Lower Hutt, Masterton and Porirua District Courts
Jury trials will continue, provided they can be accommodated safely in accordance with Alert Level 2 restrictions.

Any jury trials that cannot safely be accommodated at Alert Level 2 will be adjourned or stood down. This decision is made at a local level and court staff will contact participants including jurors in these instances.

Public access restricted
For physical distancing reasons, entry to the High Court and District Courts in the Wellington region is restricted as outlined in the Alert Level 2 protocol. This will be reviewed to ensure it remains fit for purpose.

General Safety Arrangements
Everyone attending court is strongly encouraged to:

  • wear face masks
  • practise physical distancing, and
  • track where they have been using the QR code or a personal record.

Enhanced cleaning regimes will be maintained, and soap, towels, sanitiser and personal protective equipment will be available.


Further information on Court protocols can be found on the Courts of New Zealand website

 

Law Society services

All Law Society offices remain open. You will be asked to physically distance and sign in using the NZ COVID tracer app if visiting our National Office in Wellington. Our Wellington library will be accessible only to lawyers with an access card. Requests can be made to our library team via email wellington@nzlslibrary.org.nz or phone 04 473 6202.

If you do visit one of our offices or libraries please scan the COVID-19 QR codes using the NZ COVID Tracer App.

Support for our members’ wellbeing

The Legal Community Counselling Service provides counselling with via phone or videolink as well as face to face.

The Law Society’s Practising Well initiative provides access to other support and resources for lawyers.

Ministry of Health guidelines on managing your mental health are on the MOH website.

For support with grief, anxiety, distress or mental wellbeing, you can also call or text 1737 to talk with a trained counsellor for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

For COVID-19 health advice and information, contact the Ministry of Health’s Healthline team (for free) on 0800 358 5453 or +64 9 358 5453 for international SIMS.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please email Covid-19@lawsociety.org.nz

This page will be updated as we have more advice for members of the profession.

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