Operation of Chilean Courts of Law Due to COVID-19 

April, 2020 - Ricardo Reveco

Due to the health emergency triggered by COVID-19, various measures that affect the normal operation of the courts of law, have been decreed and adopted by each of the Courts:

The Chilean Supreme Court has issued various instructions, all of which may be checked at https://www.pjud.cl/noticias-emergencia-sanitaria, underscoring, among others:

  • Favoring teleworking for judges, court officials and attorneys-at-law.

  • Suspending customer service.

  • Reducing working hours, offering criteria to suspend hearings and court errands.

  • Regulating reviews of causes and urgent matters for the different courtrooms.

On the other hand, each of the Courts of Appeals has implemented similar rules for their respective territory.

The Santiago Court of Appeals reduced its working hours in its courtrooms and their number; and has favored the hearing of causes linked to remedies for protection of constitutional guarantees, writs of protection, and remedies in the scope of criminal processes whenever there are measures for imprisonment. It has set, as well, special criteria to hear causes dealing with family matters and labor issues.

Also in Santiago, Civil Courts shall remain closed, processing causes and issues under its supervision through the current system of the Online Judicial Office.

Finally, the Arbitration and Mediation Center of the Santiago Chamber of Commerce has suspended own initiative hearings by arbitrators, notwithstanding the E-CAM online system, which enables the normal processing of proceedings in an electronic, non-in-person manner.


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