The Ministry of Justice has advised the profession that some changes have been made to the security at court buildings around the country.
The changes, which took effect on Wednesday, include lawyers being required to be screened where screening is available. The adjustments were made as New Zealand’s national security threat level was bumped up to high.
Screening will be done to all people entering the court, with the exception of the judiciary, Ministry of Justice staff, Police and Corrections staff, the Law Society said.
The ministry also advised that police, who will continue to follow current practice regarding applications to have weapons in court, will routinely carry firearms when on duty.
Some doors may also be restricted from use by staff and other users of the court. Some ungated ministry carparks will also be assigned private security guards, it said.
Changes to the security settings, which will be announced weekly, will be announced by the ministry.
The Law Society said that it is working closely with the ministry and members of the profession as the country charts new territory in terms of day-to-day security. Legal professionals must take heightened security very seriously and with patience and understanding, it said.