BY IAN MURRAY
HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) are to host a free webinar looking at how the latest changes to technology in the court room have played out during the Covid-19 crisis.
Anyone involved professionally or with an interest in the workings of the courts is invited to register. Scots may find this English course worthwhile.
The use of technology in courts has been a topic for discussion in recent years but has been brought to the fore during the current Covid-19 crisis and the initial closure of court proceedings.
While courts have reopened there has been some debate surrounding access for journalists.
Going forward, there are proposals to increase the use of video in hearings where, in some instances, all those taking part as well as media covering will be involved through the use of video links.
Advocates and QCs parading into the courts in Edinburgh. Picture by Bill Heaney
Those registering for the webinar will be able to post questions prior to the event.
Details of the webinar on July 15, state:
“Audio and video technology has long played a part in our justice system, and has become crucial to maintaining justice during the coronavirus pandemic.
“In this webinar, we will discuss how we have swiftly expanded our use of technology so that we can hold more video and audio hearings across all jurisdictions, subject to judicial discretion. We will also cover forthcoming plans for the use of new technology. The panel will show a demonstration of how it works and offer an opportunity for you to ask any questions.
Planned speakers include:
Rosie Rand, Service Owner, Future Hearings Programme, HMCTS
Tim Britten, Deputy Director for Portfolio Delivery, HMCTS
Michelle Filby, Deputy Director, Crime Programme, HMCTS
Mark Fenhalls QC, Leader, South Eastern Circuit
“You will have the chance to hear about and discuss:
- How remote hearings have helped maintain justice during the coronavirus outbreak
- The guidance and support which is available on use of the audio and video technology
- The steps we have taken to reduce some of the potential issues facing some court users when engaging with remote hearings
- What is working well with remote hearings and what could be improved.
This event is aimed at all legal professionals and professional court users who have used remote hearings or will do so in the future.
“Due to time constraints, content from this webinar will be restricted to audio and video hearings and the use of remote technology to maintain justice during the coronavirus outbreak. It won’t cover operational plans or arrangements at specific locations, or wider issues involving HMCTS and the justice system.
“During the online event, you’ll be able to submit questions and the presenters will aim to answer as many as possible in real time. We’ll respond afterwards to questions not answered during the event.”
In Scotland, it would help immensely if complaints and indictments were posted on the web prior the accused making an appearance in court. And it would also be really helpful if there was a list stating which cases were in which courts. Editor