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Remote Hearings

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN HL10132, tabled on 9 November 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to expand the virtual court estate for short or preliminary hearings, and non-complex matters.

Answered on

24 November 2020

In response to the COVID19 pandemic, we rapidly expanded audio and video technology capability, enabling judges and magistrates to conduct many more remote hearings. This included rolling out use of the ‘Cloud Video Platform’ (CVP), which was already in use in some jurisdictions, across all jurisdictions over the spring and summer. This has enabled many cases to be heard that otherwise would have been delayed. We will ensure remote hearings continue to be effectively supported with increased staff support and guidance for users.

The use of remote hearings is subject to judicial discretion and the interests of justice, and usage varies accordingly. Judicial guidance on the use of remote hearings in different case types has been produced by the judiciary and is available on their website. HMCTS has produced national guidance on remote participation in court and tribunal hearings across jurisdictions which is available on the GOV.UK website.