Dr. Nicole Cannataci [Associate FSGM.Partners]
By virtue of Legal Notice 176 and Legal Notice 177, changes have been made to previous legal notices dealing with closure of the Courts and suspension of legal times. Whereas the suspension of legal times remains in force through L.N. 176, the order of the closure of the courts has been partially revoked through L.N. 177.
As of today, the 4th of May, the registry of the Courts, both criminal and civil, will be open. While the registry of the Courts is expected to have its operations in full swing as of Monday 25th May, certain precautionary measures have been put into place, starting today, in order to limit and prevent the further spread of COVID-19. These include, but are not limited to, the following; (a) social distancing measures, including only a limited number of individuals entering the registry at the same time (b) compulsory use of hand sanitizer and appropriate masks and visors upon entry to the registry, and (c) compulsory temperature readings prior to entry to the registry.
In regard to L.N. 176 and L.N. 141 of 2020, which stipulate the suspension of legal and judicial times, both are still in force, and further guidance is to be provided alongside the future development of the virus and the relevant respective guidelines to be given by the Superintendent of Public Health.
It is also important to note that, despite the full gradual reopening of registry of the courts, for the time being, as far as the Court itself is concerned, the situation remains the same i.e. no court sittings and processes are to be held unless in cases of; (a) urgency and (b) where the public interest prevails.
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