Litigation Department Report | Order 31/2020: ending of the extraordinary judicial recess.
Dear Sir or Madam,
Within the state of sanitary emergency declared regarding COVID-19, the National Supreme Court of Justice (“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 line with the Decrees and their complementary regulations duly enacted by the National Executive Branch, on 7/27/2020, the Supreme Court issued the Order 31/2020. Through this Order the Supreme Court provided, among others, these measures: (i) to ratify the ending of the extraordinary judicial recess as provided for in Order 27/2020 regarding: (a) national and federal courts of first instance based in the City of Buenos Aires except for those detailed in point (ii), and (b) federal courts of first instance within the jurisdiction of the Federal Court of Appeals of San Martin, (ii) the extension of the extraordinary judicial recess for: (a) national courts of first instance in civil matters from 7/27/2020 to 8/3/2020, both included, (b) national courts of first instance in commercial matters from 7/27/2020 to 7/28/2020, both included, with a suspension of the deadlines (procedural, administrative and time limits for the expiration of the instance until 8/3/2020, and (c) certain federal courts located outside the City of Buenos Aires from 7/27/2020 to 8/3/2020, both included, (iii) the ending of the extraordinary judicial recess as from 8/4/2020, for courts mentioned in point (ii) with the clarification formulated in point (ii) (b) in respect of national courts of first instance in commercial matters, (iv) to enable, exceptionally, the various courts of appeals and oral courts to order the general suspension of time limits in respect of cases submitted to them or to lower courts, for epidemiological and sanitary reasons, and (v) the approval of the following protocols: “Protocol of action for the National Judicial Branch”, “Protocol of action” and “Protocol on prevention, hygiene and safety measures for the national judicial branch due to the COVID-19 pandemic” which are integrated as annexes to the Order 31/2020.
Annex I – “Protocol of action for the National Judicial Branch” provides the following provisions that regulate the functioning of the National Judicial Branch during the pandemic (applicable to all stages, including those now beginning): (a) maintains the protocols issued by Agreement 14/2020, (b) maintains the “Procedure for reception of claims, direct appeals and appeals of complaint remedies before Chamber” approved by Order 12/2020 and those arising from Order 11/2020, (c) maintains the “Regulation for electronic processing of official letters with entities external to the Judicial Branch -DEOX” and the procedure for its registration, approved by Order 15/2020, (d) ratifies operative point 11 of Order 4/2020, which provides that all submissions made before the national and federal justice,, must be in digital format and electronically signed, and (e) maintains the provisions regarding the electronic signature of judges and officials, included in operative points 2 to 5 of Order 12/2020.
Annex II – “Protocol of action” provides the extension of the Judicial Management System without the material support for all the functions already issued by the Court within the framework of Law Nº 26,685 and regulates specifically certain issues referred to (a) the electronic/digital file, (b) the filing date to be considered in relation to certain electronic submissions, (c) the submission of writs and documentation, (d) certain issues relating to teleworking (among them, it is established that when attention is required for any activity to be fulfilled at the seat of the court and that requires attendance in person, this must be ordered through a shift system), and (e) the attendance to hearings.
Annex III – “Protocol on prevention, hygiene and safety measures for the national judicial branch due to the COVID-19 pandemic” provides: (i) prevention, security and hygiene measures for the Judicial Branch personnel, (ii) measures to be adopted by the different superintendent’s authorities, (iii) protocol of action if a suspicious or confirmed case of COVID-19 is detected, and (iv) measures to be adopted by the personnel who perform cleaning tasks.
Should you require any further information on this matter, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Gonzalo García Delatour