Will it still be possible to use the internet to connect with the court? Has court videoconferencing gained traction?

Remote trials during the pandemic

The remote court session feature was introduced in March 2020. It allows an open trial or court session to be held using remote communications with direct audio & video transmission of the proceedings. Hence, those in attendance, including the judicial panel, do not need to be physically present in the courtroom.

End of term

Importantly, the law introduced in March 2020 remains in force for the duration of the COVID-19 epidemic or the related emergency and for one year after the epidemic or emergency is called off, whichever is called off later. As such, the law was generally supposed to expire on 1 July 2024.

Remote trials in Code of Civil Procedure

However, the Code of Civil Procedure has been modified by new regulations coming into force on 14 March 2024. These add the remote trial option straight in the Code while repealing the remote session regulations introduced in March 2020.

Remote session – how ordered

Under the new remote trial provisions of the Code, the presiding judge may order a remote court session at their own initiative or upon the application of a person who is to participate in the session and has disclosed their email address. The application needs to be filed within 7 days from receipt of session notice or subpoena. However, the order may also command the given person to be physically present at some other court. Such orders are communicated to relevant persons.

Notifying your intention to participate remotely

The new Code provisions also give the court an option to allow people to participate in a remote session without having first disclosed their email address. In such cases the subpoena should include information that the participants may either appear in person or notify their intention to participate remotely.

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