Following small scale testing in tax tribunals in March 2018, HM Courts & Tribunal Service (HMCTS) has obtained approval to begin small-scale testing of Video Hearings in two locations across two jurisdictions.
HMTCS have announced that testing in the following areas will begin in Dec 2018:
- Set aside judgments in civil – Birmingham Civil, Family and Justice Centre (CFJC) and Manchester Civil Justice Centre (CJC).
- First direction appointments (where both parties are legally represented) – Birmingham CFJC and Manchester CJC.
HMTCS have stated that this testing will be critical for the project to ensure that the current design meets user needs.
To ensure that they maintain an independent view of the service outside of the research they do, HMTCS have announced that independent academics will be carrying out an evaluation, the results of which will be published on completion of the testing
What is a video hearing?
A fully video hearing is a hearing where all participants join from outside the courtroom using only a laptop or desktop computer to do so.
On the day of their hearing, users log into the website using their username and password.
They then see their hearing listed for that day.
Once they click to enter the hearing they go through a series of set-up steps.
The participant will then stay in the online waiting room until the judge begins the hearing.
Further information can be found at https://bit.ly/2zVacCB and in an article entitled “Video hearings can make a difference for court and tribunal users” on the gov.uk website at https://bit.ly/2QsA6b9