‘Covid-19 and Criminal Law – The Essential Guide’ by Ramya Nagesh


Paperback: 978-1-913715-21-2
Published: July 2020
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SKU: B0147 COVIDANDCRIMINALLAW Categories: , Tags: , , , ,


This book is part of our new series of essential guides for legal practitioners covering what you need to know about how various aspects of UK law have been affected by the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.


The announcement of ‘lockdown’ on 23 March 2020 saw sweeping changes within the criminal justice system. Within a matter of days, new offences were in force. The criminal courts – which had relied largely on in-person appearances thus far – found themselves operating almost wholly through virtual hearing lists. Jury trials were adjourned in their thousands, as those within the system debated how they could be effectively and safely resumed.

These changes affect all of us within the criminal justice system. At the same time, we have had relatively little time to get to grips with them. This book is designed to provide an easy reference guide to all the key ways in which Covid-19 has affected both the law and practice. It includes analysis of the key provisions from the Welsh and English Coronavirus Regulations 2020 and the Coronavirus Act 2020, provides practical tips for continuing to work during the pandemic and considers options for the future shape of the criminal courts.

The book is split into three main parts:

  1. The impact of Covid-19 on criminal offences: the new offences created, and the impact of the pandemic on existing offences;
  2. The impact of Covid-19 on the court system: virtual hearings, practical points for the practitioner and options to allow jury trials to resume.
  3. The impact of Covid-19 on Judicial decisions: sentencing and bail decisions.


Ramya Nagesh is a barrister at No5 Chambers, where she specialises in the full range of criminal matters. Ramya acts for both the Prosecution and the Defence, and represents both individuals and corporations. The vast majority of her criminal practice these days is in the Crown Court, but she also has experience in the Magistrates’ Courts, and in the Court of Appeal.

Ramya sits as the independent legal representative on the West Midlands Hate Crime Scrutiny Panel. She is also a Trustee for Justice Is Now – a non-profit organisation seeking to make improvements to the ways in which sexual offences are treated in the criminal courts. Ramya is the author of the book: A Practical Guide to the Law in Relation to Hate Crime. She has also authored a number of articles on topics that include sleepwalking and the criminal law, international criminal law, hate crime and legal professional privilege.


Part One – Criminal Offences and Covid-19
Chapter One: Overview of the Coronavirus Act and Regulations
Chapter Two: Offences Under the Coronavirus Act 2020
Chapter Three: Offences Under the Coronavirus Regulations 2020
Chapter Four: How Covid-19 Impacts Current Offences

Part Two: The Impact of Covid-19 on the Criminal Court System
Chapter Five: Making Justice Virtual – Pre and Post Trial Hearings
Chapter Six: The Jury Question

Part Three: The Impact of Covid-19 on Judicial Decisions in Criminal Cases
Chapter Seven: Covid-19 and Deprivation of Liberty Cases