The National Supreme Court of Justice issued on 11 May 2020 the Resolution No. 14/2020 (the “Resolution”) by means of which extended the extraordinary holidays until 24 May 2020. The measure taken by the Supreme Court is in line with the extension of the Preventive and Mandatory Social isolation established by Decree No. 459/2020 of the National Executive Power.
The Resolution also includes the following protocols:
- Protocol and guidelines for the processing of court cases during the extraordinary holidays. It establishes that the courts in charge of the superintendence of each sector or jurisdiction will be enabled to extend the matters to be considered during the extraordinary holidays to the following, among others: drug trafficking, human trafficking, cybercrime, protective actions (amparos), labour cases, habeas data, successions, etc.
At the same time, judges will be able to analyze and arrange remotely the suspension of the holidays in order to issue certain definitive and preliminary rulings in those cases which are ready to be solved, even if these are not related to any of the matters mentioned above.
- Protocol related to the call of officials and employees. Regarding this issue, the Resolution establishes that in case that presential services are needed, the courts shall call the minimum personnel provision possible. Those who can avoid public transport will be prioritized and those who have been granted special leaves or included in risk groups are excluded.
- Protocol to consultations within the judicial power. For those essential proceedings in which attendance in person is needed, it will be stipulated a remote appointments system, by using a specific software or by requesting it via email. Such email will also be available for queries, aiming to reduce the attendance of public to the minimum extent.
- Protocol of preventive hygiene and security measures for the National Judicial Power due to Covid-19 pandemic. This protocol includes certain measures to be adopted by personnel (e.g. taking their temperature before attending to work, wash their hands frequently, respect social distancing, etc.), the different authorities (control and administer the attendance of people, secure the provision of alcohol to staff, etc.).
This protocol also includes measures to be adopted in case a suspicious case is detected or it is confirmed that a member of staff is diagnosed with Covid-19 and measures to be adopted by the cleaning personnel.
Finally, the Resolution reminds and insists on the use of the electronic tools available for the submission of documents and to perform the different proceedings before court remotely by using the electronic or digital signature.