As law courts around the world are closing in the midst of the Covid-19 outbreak, facilities for remote hearings (via audio and video) have been set up quickly and lawyers, judges and others are, in many cases, learning on their feet. Today’s launch of Remote Courts Worldwide aims to support the justice sector through the various digital and legal process challenges by sharing experiences and updates from judiciaries across the world.
Remotecourts.org is a collaborative project, involving the Society for Computers and Law, the UK LawTech Delivery Panel, and Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunals Service.
The platform has been designed to help the global community of justice workers (judges, lawyers, court officials, litigants, court technologists) to share their experiences of developing remote alternatives to traditional court hearings in physical buildings.
There is a specific page of information for the legal profession in Wales, which can be found here: remotecourts.org/country/wales.htm
Remote Courts Worldwide is led by Professor Richard Susskind, President of the Society for Computers and Law, and an expert in online courts. He said:
“It’s time to come together, globally, to accelerate the introduction of remote hearings by judges. We have no choice. Physical courts are closing. There’s little point in lamenting any lack of past investment nor in predicting that the technology will fail. Let’s make it happen. We must seize the moment and come together to accelerate the development of new ways of delivering just outcomes for court users.”
Susan Acland-Hood, Chief Executive of HM Courts & Tribunals Service, added:
“The current crisis is unprecedented and requires us rapidly to explore new and innovative ways to ensure the justice system continues to operate. Remote hearings are an important part of helping us meet the challenges we face, and we are working flat out to increase the use of audio and video technology in courts and tribunals across England and Wales. In doing so, we are drawing heavily on the know-how we have gained as a result of HMCTS’s ongoing reform programme.
“I therefore warmly welcome this initiative and support ways in which we can enhance international knowledge and collaboration in this vital field.”
For more information, visit remotecourts.org