Message from FLBA Re: Period Of Mourning & Court Closure
We have been asked about the forthcoming days and what to expect in our courts during the period of mourning. The President shared with us, for onwards dissemination, the information that has been provided to the Judiciary and tribunals. We set it out below.
Silences and continuing business
All courts, tribunals and HMCTS offices will remain open, except for the day of the funeral or any subsequent day identified as a national day of mourning. Otherwise judges will sit as normal for the rest of the mourning period.
The death of the Sovereign will be marked by a period of national silence, the timing and duration of which will be notified by Government.
The LCJ has indicated that as the announcement of the death has come outside of sitting hours, courts and tribunals should observe two minutes’ silence at the next sitting.
The judiciary, staff and members of the legal profession appearing before courts and tribunals are not required to observe court mourning in terms of dress. Civil servants in public facing roles should wear their normal business attire. Others may choose to wear dark coloured business attire during the mourning period but are not required to do so.
Attire should be respectful of the occasion, but formal mourning dress (such as black ties and black armbands) is not required.
National Mourning and the State Funeral
There will be period of National Mourning as directed by Government. We expect this to last for 11 days culminating with the State Funeral.
The guidance is that courts and tribunals will not sit on the 19th September of the Funeral save for very urgent business, such as overnight custody cases. Such hearings should be listed around the time of the Funeral if possible.
Judges should work with HMCTS staff to ensure that cases are re-listed appropriately to make way for the Funeral. Cases where defendants have been remanded in custody to appear in court on the day of the Sovereign’s Funeral should be adjourned to the next available date.
Events relating to the Funeral for the Sovereign are likely to take place in central London and access to some courts and tribunals buildings might be impeded by increased security measures.