The Ministry of Justice is urging lawyers in Christchurch to assist the High Court in the reconstruction of files that may have been damaged or lost due to the earthquake.
A letter from Chief High Court judge Justice Helen Winkelmann to lawyers stated the court had been assessed "as sound".
The interior of the building was damaged, particularly the registry areas and the basement was flooded after the earthquake.
"Many of the surrounding buildings are extensively damaged and we expect that the court will not be operating from the central city site for some time," she said. "Registry functions will not be housed there, and hearings will not occur in that court building for the foreseeable future."
Justice Winkelmann said the High Court was aware many practitioners did not have access to their files and some records would be lost.
The court is urging lawyers to co-operate with each other and make allowances for the disturbance the earthquake has created.
The Christchurch District Court will also remain closed until further notice but essential judicial services are being delivered to the city.
Both courts are within the city's cordon.
The ministry said this week an arrest court and remand hearings were temporarily being run out of Christchurch Men's Prison, while other urgent matters were operating out of Rangiora District Court. Arrangements have also been made for urgent Family Court matters.
Ministry of Justice deputy secretary of courts Andrew Hampton said the ministry's first priority had been to ensure staff members and their families were safe.
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