Order 14/2020: extension of the extraordinary judicial recess and adoption of measures to provide a broader service of justice.
Litigation Department Report | Order 14/2020: extension of the extraordinary judicial recess and adoption of measures to provide a broader service of justice
Dear Sir or Madam,
Within the state of sanitary emergency declared regarding COVID-19 and the mandatory social, preventive isolation measure duly decreed, the Supreme Court has adopted different measures within the National Judicial Branch, consistent with the National Executive Branch provisions and the recommendations of the national sanitary authority. In order to align with Decree No. 459/20, through which the National Executive Branch enacted the extension of Decree No. 297/20 (later extended by Decrees 325/20, 355/20, 408/20, and their complementary regulations), on 05.11.2020 the Supreme Court issued Order No. 14/2020.
Through Order No. 14/2020, the Supreme Court ordered: (i) the extension of the extraordinary judicial recess issued by Order 6/2020, from May 11th through May 24th 2020, both dates included, (ii) that during this extraordinary judicial recess the Supreme Court will work with all its members and court secretaries, (iii) to maintain the public opening hours of courts on duty from Monday to Friday from 9.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m., (iv) to entrust the different national and federal courts which are in charge of the superintendence of each jurisdiction, the appointment of authorities on duty within their jurisdiction for attending as many issues as possible, in accordance with guidelines established in the protocols included as annexes to the Order, (v) the approval of the following protocols: “Protocol and guidelines for the processing of judicial proceedings during the extraordinary judicial recess”, “Protocol referring to the summoning of officials and employees”, “Protocol for the formulation of enquiries in the judicial branch” and “Protocol on prevention, hygiene and safety measures for the national judicial branch due to the Covid-19 pandemic”, and (vi) to prioritize the use of available digital tools to enable remote processing of cases and the use of electronic and digital signatures, as provided for in Orders 4,6,11 and 12/2020.
Annex I – “Protocol and guidelines for the processing of judicial proceedings during the extraordinary judicial recess” provides: (i) the possibility that the courts extend the issues to be considered during the extraordinary judicial recess, including: (a) in criminal matters: drug trafficking, human trafficking, cyber-crimes, and criminal cases with people under investigation or accused unknown or non-detained, at the request of the Prosecutor’s Office or the plaintiff, and (b) in non-criminal matters: amparo proceedings -law no. 16,986- and amparos against acts of private individuals, labor lawsuits, habeas data, damages proceedings, of a social security nature, of regulation or for professional fees in all proceedings, universal proceedings -succession, bankruptcy-, precautionary measures, and voluntary proceedings, (ii) the possibility that the court of appeals and cassation court issue, in the same matters that those referred to in point (i), the enablement of the extraordinary judicial recess for the treatment and resolution of all the appeals that are filed or those which are in progress, and (iii) the possibility that the natural judge of the case remotely orders the enablement of the extraordinary judicial recess to render definitive or interlocutory judgments in those cases that are in conditions to be resolved, regardless of the matter in question.
Annex II – “Protocol referring to the summoning of officials and employees” orders that: (i) in-person work will be done, as a matter of priority, by judges and officials, (ii) if the service has to be provided in person, the minimum number of personnel must be defined, prioritizing those who leave near the workplace, those who can avoid traveling by public transport and those who are not on special leave or who belong to risk groups, (iii) those who are exempted from working in person must comply with it remotely, (iv) the head of the offices can organize the work in rotative shifts with different schedules, and (v) the cleanliness, hygiene, and disinfection of workspaces and areas must be ensured.
Annex III – “Protocol for the formulation of inquiries in the judicial branch” orders that: (i) when it is necessary to do paperwork in person, appointments will be assigned remotely as disposed by offices, (ii) these offices will provide institutional e-mail addresses for (a) obtaining the appointments and (b) answering to inquiries raised by system operators, and (iii) submitters when formulating inquiries on judicial and administrative proceedings, must provide an e-mail address where all the communications and notifications will be valid.
Annex IV – “Protocol on prevention, hygiene and safety measures for the national judicial branch due to the Covid-19 pandemic” issues: (i) recommendations for the care of personnel attending workplaces, (ii) measures to be adopted by the different superintendent’s authorities, (iii) measures to be adopted if a suspicious case is detected or the diagnosis of Covid-19 is confirmed with respect to the personnel of the national judicial branch, and (iv) measures to be adopted by personnel who perform cleaning tasks in workplaces.
Please, do not hesitate to contact us should you require any further information on this matter.
Eduardo J. Güemes
Gonzalo García Delatour