What are the consequences for ongoing cases ?
Decree of the Secretary of Justice No 2020-10 of 8 April 2020 has been published in the Monaco Official Journal (Journal de Monaco) on 10 April, extending the closure of the Palais de Justice to the public until 4 May 2020.
The Palais de Justice of Monaco has been closed to the public since 16 March 2020 at noon, in accordance with Decree No 2020-9 of the same day, which provided for an initial closure period of four weeks.
The hearings, which were scheduled before 16 March, have already been postponed to a later date, except for urgent matters.
Furthermore, the time limits for appeals and proccedings before the Monaco Supreme Court (Tribunal Suprême) have been suspended, retroactively since 16 March and for a period of two months, pursuant to Sovereign Ordinance No 8.019 of 26 March 2020. This Ordinance concerns the time limits :
- for appeal in administrative proceedings;
- for appeal in litigation proceedings; and
- for proceedings provided for by Sovereign Ordinance No 2.984 of 16 April 1963 on the organisation and functioning of the Supreme Court, as amended
with the exception of:
- those relating to the emergency procedure set out in Article 41 of Sovereign Ordinance No 2.984 of 16 April 1963 pertaining to the organisation and functioning of the Supreme Court, as amended.
Similarly, bill No 1011 pertaining to justice in order to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, which could soon be adopted, complements the Ordinance of 26 March by providing for a two-month suspension, also effective 16 March, of:
- all time limits for proceedings in civil, commercial, employment and administrative matters, including, in particular, those inherent to ordinary and extraordinary appeals, in addition to those of foreclosure provided for by codes or special laws ; and
- time limits for hearings, as well as time limits after which a judge must have ruled, provided for by codes or special laws, with the exception of those relating to pre-trial custody.
These measures are part of the fight against the spread of COVID-19 while the pandemic is still in progress in the Principality, as in many countries around the world. Given the evolution of the health situation, it cannot be ruled out that the closure of the Palais de Justice will continue beyond 4 May.