Reed Smith Client Alerts

The health crisis caused by the Covid-19 impacts the entire judiciary and, in particular, proceedings pending before civil and criminal courts. It also creates many uncertainties regarding the introduction of new proceedings.

Authors: Benoit Charot Pierre-Céols Fischer Yéléna Nobou Margot Lacaud

blur motion image of people walking on bridge

Since 16 March 2020, courts have been closed and all hearings have been postponed except those concerning disputes considered as "essential". In practice, the judiciary is therefore at a on hold and it is currently very difficult to get access to a judge. 

Four Ordinances published in the French Official Gazette on 26 March 2020 ended these uncertainties by introducing temporary measures applicable from 12 March 2020 until the expiry of a one-month period after the termination date of the state of health emergency.

These Ordinances refer to Article 4 of Emergency Law No. 2020-290 of 23 March 2020 to address the Covid-19 outbreak, which set the end of the state of health emergency on 24 May 2020, being specified that this period may be extended to a later date.