Chief Justice orders halt to all jury trials for 24 hours

A view of the jury box, right, inside Courtroom 201, where jury selection in the trial of Aurora...
There is a 24-hour suspension of jury trials for all of New Zealand. Photo by Reuters.
The Chief Justice has announced the suspension of all jury trials around the country for 24 hours.

Last night, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Auckland would be moving to alert level 3 on the Government's Covid-19 response scale at midday today for the next three days.

The Super City will be plunged back into lockdown in response to four cases of community transmission, while the rest of New Zealand will be at alert level 2.

In response, Chief Justice Helen Winkelmann announced a 24-hour suspension of jury trials for all of New Zealand. She said this would allow time for the courts to re-establish the public safety measures which apply at alert level 2.

She also announced that jury trials in progress in the Auckland region are suspended until Monday.

"Jurors who are summonsed to attend, or who are serving on trials in the Auckland High Court, and District Court at Manukau and Auckland are therefore excused from attendance at court on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday," Justice Winkelmann said.

Jurors summonsed to attend or currently serving on trials will be contacted by registries today to advise them of the arrangements being made in each courthouse for their attendance for the rest of the week.

Jurors will also be contacted by registries regarding attendance the following week, Justice Winkelmann said in a statement.

Further statements and updates from the Chief Justice are expected later today.

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