Court service starts another video hearing pilot running

Manchester civil justice centre: Six video hearings so far

A pilot enabling domestic abuse victims to take part in hearings by video link from a computer in their solicitor’s office has begun running in Manchester.

HM Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS) said video links had been used in six applications for injunctions at Manchester Civil Justice Centre so far and feedback from those involved has been positive.

Suitable cases are dependent on judicial discretion and those taking part in the tests must have legal representation.

Jane Campbell, a partner at Makin Dixon, one of two law firms involved in the pilot, said: “Accessing the hearing has made a real difference to our client. She was a referral from victim support who commented how convenient it was for the client.

“The victim was too scared to go home last night and doing this over video has really made a positive impact.

“The video hearing has the gravitas of a court room. The interview suite is set up with all the necessary tools to swear in a witness and the client gets to see the judge and observe the process.”

Justice minister Lucy Frazer said: “We are hearing that, even in the early stages, testing fully video hearings are having a positive effect and ensuring the justice system is supporting people at one of the most difficult times in their lives.”

The use of video in hearings is one of the more contentious aspects of the £1bn court modernisation programme, but there are now several pilots running.

Fully video hearings are being tested in a small number of cases involving civil cases – such as set-aside judgements – and first-direction appointments in family cases at both Manchester and Birmingham Civil Justice Centres. There is also a second pilot in the tax tribunal.

All are being independently evaluated.

Earlier this week, we reported on the findings of a researcher that said the experience of using video-link technology to hold immigration bail hearings showed how far it has to go to be as effective as face-to-face hearings.

There continue to be widespread reservations about the technology.

Leave a Comment

By clicking Submit you consent to Legal Futures storing your personal data and confirm you have read our Privacy Policy and section 5 of our Terms & Conditions which deals with user-generated content. All comments will be moderated before posting.

Required fields are marked *
Email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


How a good customer journey can put your business on the map

Good customer service should be a priority for any business and, if you want to stay ahead of the competition, something that’s constantly under review.

The CAT’s welcome boost for the funding industry

There was welcome guidance from the Competition Appeal Tribunal this week for funded cases looking for certainty following PACCAR, with the renegotiated Sony litigation funding agreement upheld as lawful.

The promising prospects and potential pitfalls of AI in the legal industry

The legal industry, steeped in tradition, precedent, and the intricacies of human interpretation, is witnessing an increasingly apparent integration of artificial intelligence as the digital era progresses.

Loading animation