As the use of video and phone hearings has been swiftly expanded by the Ministry of Justice in response to COVID-19, the Equality & Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has published interim findings from its criminal justice inquiry, to help mitigate the risks that these technologies pose to disabled people.
As part of this work, the EHRC has warned that there is a heightened risk that disabled people may not be able to realise their right to a fair trial if their specific needs are not recognised and met during remote hearings.
In particular, the Interim Report highlights the use of video hearings in England and Wales which can significantly hinder communication and understanding for people with learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorders and mental health conditions.
Video / remote hearings during the Covid-19 lockdown
The EHRC & Public Law Wales hosted an event with Legal News to discuss experiences of the legal profession now that the use of video or audio hearings is the new norm.
A body of barristers and public law solicitors joined us to share their experiences of video hearings at this event, to help you identify issues and address them.
Speakers (in order of appearance):
- Angharad Price, Legal Principal in Wales, EHRC
- Michael Imperato, Partner, Watkins and Gunn Solicitors
- David Gardener, No 5 Chambers
- Paul Hopkins QC, 9 Park Place
- Rhys Davies, 9 Park Place
(Please note, this was a live event)
To view the Equality & Human Rights Commission Interim Report and its work during the Coronavirus pandemic, visit equalityhumanrights.com.