Evaluation of court and tribunal video hearings process published

  • new report shows video hearings service convenient, robust and easy to use
  • testing of video hearings has been extended in tax tribunals, other jurisdictions to follow
  • decisions about the use of video hearings remain at the discretion of the judiciary

The video hearings service allows participants to attend a hearing from their home, office or another suitable location using a laptop or desktop computer.

The report, which covers a small sample of cases studied in depth, contains a number of recommendations on participant guidance and service functionality. A number of these have already been implemented, as the service rapidly responds to user and judicial feedback

HMCTS developed the service to replicate the formal experience of a hearing held in a court or tribunal building. Testing of the service is continuing at pace. It has been extended in the Tax Tribunals and other jurisdictions will follow.

Susan Acland-Hood, HMCTS Chief Executive, said

I welcome this report and its valuable assessment of the pilot of video hearings taking place across civil, family and tax courts and tribunals. It will add to the existing evidence base on video hearings and enable us to make further improvements.

Audio and video technology has long played a part in the justice system and is a crucial tool in maintaining our justice system during the pandemic and beyond.

Work will continue to develop and test the video hearings service to provide a remote option where appropriate, when participants cannot or do not need to attend a physical courtroom. Decisions about the use of video technology in hearings are for the judiciary to determine.

The use of remote hearings during the COVID-19 outbreak will be subject to evaluation, with the findings published once it is complete.


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