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Justice must be seen to be done - by video link?

14 November 2018

The modernisation of the civil justice system will take a step forward this month with the introduction of a pilot scheme to determine applications via video link.

For the next year, the courts in Manchester and Birmingham will offer video hearings for applications to set aside county court judgments (CCJs) where the judgment has been obtained in the absence of the defendant filing an acknowledgment of service or defence to a claim. All parties to the application and the judge must agree to use the court’s video link service and will be connected by webcam with a screen set up in the court room. The public will still be free to attend the hearing and view the parties or their legal representatives on the big screen.

It is hoped that video hearings will save time and money for parties involved in litigation while still preserving the ‘majesty’ of the courtroom. Technology and connection issues are expected in the early days of the pilot but if successful, justice by video link could become commonplace in courtrooms throughout England and Wales into the future…

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