Supreme Court Provisions for Courts Operation
Due to the contingency generated by the outbreak of COVID-19, the Supreme Court ordered the remote work modality for all the courts of the country. Therefore, public attention is suspended during the contingency.
However, the terms of the open judicial processes have not been suspended and the appearances already set are maintained, and must be carried out under the sanitary conditions established by each court, except for the suspensions that may occur in each process and in each particular court.
Therefore, the Supreme Court ordered the courts to maintain lax criteria in the event that one of the parties cannot appear at a hearing or cannot meet a deadline due to the contingency. Thus, below we report the general situation according to court and subject.
• Regarding the thirty Civil Courts of Santiago, by virtue of their instructions dated March 19th, 2020, they will remain officially closed to the public and the processing will only be carried out electronically.
• In labor matters, it was established that only labor causes for violation of fundamental rights will have priority, all of which will maintain, as far as possible, their normal processing. However, for the moment, all hearings for the month of March are suspended and will be rescheduled by the courts in due course.
• As for the hearings of the cases in the Court of Appeals, these will be limited until 1:00 p.m., and it was ordered to give priority to the cases in the aggregate table, extraordinary criminal, ordinary criminal and those of family and labor that meet the aforementioned criteria.
• Likewise, the Santiago Court of Appeals instructed the Local Police Courts to suspend, in a well-founded manner, all appearing and hearing involving a major number of people in its dependencies. In practice, most of the Local Police Courts are suspending such hearings ex officio, or at the request of a party. In view of the above circumstances, the Supreme Court called on users to go to court only in urgent cases.
• Regarding the arbitration processes followed at the Arbitration and Mediation Center of the Santiago Chamber of Commerce, these will continue to be processed normally through the E-CAM online system. Notwithstanding the foregoing, face-to-face public attention was restricted and referees were urged to suspend the scheduled hearings ex officio or, failing that, to arrange that they are taken by electronic means.
• Regarding the arbitration processes followed before the ICC, these will proceed normally according to the circumstances of each case. Notwithstanding this, the ICC offices will not attend public, the meetings must be held by electronic means, the work trips of the ICC members will be suspended and all physical correspondence that must be sent to the ICC must be previously informed by the users.
Without prejudice to the aforementioned considerations, we inform that Baraona Fischer & Cía.’s litigation team is working normally, under remote modality, to fulfill the deadlines and orders derived from the causes entrusted to us.
If there are any other measures or changes in the criteria to date reported by the ordinary or arbitral courts, we will let you know shortly.