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Impact of the Coronavirus on the criminal justice system

The COVID19 pandemic has meant that every aspect of society, including the Criminal Justice System, has had to adapt to the many new challenges that we face.

With much criminal case work being conducted face to face; either at the police station, in the court room or attending upon clients in the office, social distancing has meant that changes have had to be made to the way in which representation to the client is delivered.

In accordance with new Protocol, most police station investigations are now being conducted remotely. Attendance in person is only anticipated for the most serious cases and only if the latest government guidance in relation to social distancing is followed, including the appropriate use of Personal Protective Equipment.

For most other cases, lawyers are now covering all essential aspects of the police station attendance in a ‘virtual’ capacity, receiving instructions and advising the client via telephone and being present in interview by way of telephone or Skype.

None of the changes implemented affect you right to free and independent advice at the police station, nor do the changes affect the quality of service that you receive.

The Public Defender Service continues to provide a high quality, 24/7 service to its clients. If you have any legal query in relation to criminal matters, then please contact one of our offices using the contact information provided on the website.