COVID-19: HMCTS use of technology for hearings
Using existing technology and making new technology available
During these unprecedented times, it is essential that courts and tribunals continue to administer justice which is safe and in line with Government guidelines. Running courts and tribunals is an essential public service. Audio and video technology have long played a part in the justice system and can provide support during this time.
Common practices are being adjusted and steps taken in order to minimise risk to staff, users and partners. Changes will be communicated directly to those impacted; this will take place via email and/ or phone.
Arrangements are now in place for telephone, video and other technology to be used to ensure business continuity and ensure hearings can still take place remotely with equipment being used to its best ability, along with exploring ways to extend their capability in;
- The Justice Video Service (JVS) which was originally designed to work between fixed endpoints (prisons, courts and police stations).
- Audio Conferencing System (BT Meet Me), which is widely used in civil courts. More information on the use of existing technology can be found here.
Decisions as to which hearings can be held remotely is at the discretion of the judge, magistrates or panel who can determine how best to uphold the interests of justice. The following will be taken into consideration when making the decision:
- nature of the matters at stake during the hearing
- any issues the use of video/audio technology may present for participants in the hearing
- any issues around public access to or participation in the hearing.
23 March 2020, the Lord Chief Justice has announced a temporary pause on new jury trials in the Crown Court while measures are put in place to ensure that physical hearings can take place safely and in accordance with advice on social distancing. “COVID-19 will clearly have an impact on the operation of all courts in every jurisdiction. It is not realistic to suppose that it will be business as usual in any jurisdiction, but it is of vital importance that the administration of justice does not grind to a halt”. He added: “Our immediate aim is to maintain a service to the public, ensure as many hearings in all jurisdictions can proceed and continue to deal with all urgent matters”.
Latest News from
Defence and Security SME Forum Survey Results24/09/2021 16:25:00
Over the summer, techUK’s Defence and Security SME Forum asked the SME community within techUK's membership to take part in a survey examining engagement with the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD).
UK National AI Strategy24/09/2021 11:25:00
Summary of major announcements from the UK Government's National AI Strategy.
Inclusive Economy Partnership (IEP) and Dell Technologies launch the Digital Inclusion Impact Group23/09/2021 15:15:00
techUK is a part of a group of industry, government, and civil society leaders to tackle digital exclusion in the UK.
Tackling greenwashing: CMA published new guidance on green claims21/09/2021 14:15:00
Companies have until the New Year to address potentially misleading claims
techUK industry briefing with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority21/09/2021 12:05:00
Insights from the GMCA Digital team
MHRA announce consultation on the future regulation of medical devices20/09/2021 16:20:00
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is inviting members of the public to provide their views on possible changes to the regulatory framework for medical devices in the UK, aiming to develop a new regime for medical devices.
Tech Industry Gold accreditation extended to training programmes to help tackle digital skills shortages20/09/2021 15:20:00
TechSkills announces FDM as first to achieve Tech Industry Gold accreditation for training programmes.
Over a third of tech firms join Race to Zero campaign20/09/2021 13:15:00
Over a third of tech firms join Race to Zero campaign