Is Criminal Justice Under Lockdown Remotely Possible? – Transparency Project

‘Nothing better represents our idea of justice being not only done but seen to be done than the spectacle of trial by jury in the Crown Court. The arrangement of the physical space of the courtroom, the royal coat of arms behind the raised bench where the judge sits, robed and wigged, representing the majesty of the law; the dock where the captive defendant awaits the verdict of his or her “peers”, in the time-honoured words of Magna Carta; and those peers themselves, a dozen ordinary citizens doing their civic duty as jurors, ranged along one side in their jury box. Advocates, robed and wigged, take turns to present and test the case for the prosecution and the defence; witnesses are called and sworn to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth (subject to the rules of evidence); and all of this may be watched by the public and reported by the press.’

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Transparency Project, 11th May 2020

Source: www.transparencyproject.org.uk

Judge explains himself in writing after phone hearing fails – Legal Futures

‘A High Court judge has been forced to issue a detailed judgment in writing because his voice was “breaking up” at the end of a telephone hearing with a litigant in person (LiP) and the law firm suing her for fees.’

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Legal Futures, 13th May 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

The magic soup stone strikes again (more new authorities about remote hearings) – Transparency Project

‘[T]here are two new remote hearing related judgments out :

A Local Authority v Mother & Ors [2020] EWHC 1086 (Fam) and Re Q [2020] EWHC 1109 (Fam).’

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Transparency Project, 7th May 2020

Source: www.transparencyproject.org.uk

Child Protocol in Criminal Cases – Garden Court Chambers

‘The impact of COVID-19 and the guidance from Government to take all precautions to avoid unnecessary contact, has seen understandable and unprecedented changes to the justice system. The Lord Chief Justice has announced that, where possible, criminal hearings should take place remotely and no new jury trials can begin, causing all future trials to be postponed.’

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Garden Court Chambers, 5th May 2020

Source: www.gardencourtchambers.co.uk

When Remote Justice Works – Transparency Project

‘During the current public health emergency, remote justice – hearings conducted wholly via audio/visual conferencing platforms – is the default position for all court cases. After early enthusiasm at the fact that the courts were able to acquire the technical skills and software to actually deliver remote hearings at all, there has been increasing concern about their efficacy, fairness and transparency and – in particular – about the loss of human connection and personal engagement they can entail, as described in these accounts from a judge, a journalist, and a lawyer). There has been less feedback from lay participants involved in remote justice, either as parties, or as observing members of the public.’

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Transparency Project, 4th May 2020

Source: www.transparencyproject.org.uk

Successful remote hearings: Shannon Woodley discusses the case of T v Derby City Council, A, B and X [2020] EWCA Civ 507 – Park Square Barristers

Posted May 7th, 2020 in child abuse, evidence, live link evidence, news, remote hearings by sally

‘On 7th April 2020, in one of the first hearings of its kind to be held remotely, the Court of Appeal set aside findings that a father perpetrated sexual abuse against his 9 year old daughter, X.’

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Park Square Barristers, 29th April 2020

Source: www.parksquarebarristers.co.uk

Children seeing parents “distressed” by remote hearings – Legal Futures

‘Children are “coming in and out of the room” during remote family law hearings and in some cases witnessing their “distressed” parents, a major study has found.’

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Legal Futures, 7th May 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Video hearings “more likely to lead to convictions” – Legal Futures

‘Video hearings in certain criminal cases are more likely to lead to defendants receiving a prison sentence, a major study has found.’

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Legal Futures, 6th May 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Covid-19 and the courts – Radcliffe Chambers

Posted May 6th, 2020 in chambers articles, coronavirus, courts, live link evidence, news by sally

‘Covid-19 has posed a major challenge to courts around the world in maintaining the proper administration of justice. We can be very proud that the courts in the UK have already been innovative in making use of technology, using facilities such as Skype and Zoom to conduct not only contentious non-witness hearings, but even trials. This has enabled court business, at least in civil cases, to operate as close to normal as is possible. The UK courts, together with Australia and some US jurisdictions, have led the way in this respect. Even some major litigation centres, such as Hong Kong, are only now beginning to make use of technology to overcome the challenges posed by the virus.’

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Radcliffe Chambers, 29th April 2020

Source: radcliffechambers.com

“Justice Delayed is Justice Denied” The Covid-19 Effect – St Ives Chambers

‘Conducting litigation in lockdown is presenting a number of challenges for civil litigators. The shift, practically overnight, to remote working is requiring lawyers to rapidly adapt their ways of working. The word from the top is that the wheels of justice must continue to turn. The default position now is that hearings should take place remotely wherever possible.’

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St Ives Chambers, 27th April 2020

Source: www.stiveschambers.co.uk

CJC launches ‘rapid review’ of remote hearings – Litigation Futures

‘The Civil Justice Council (CJC) has launched a “rapid consultation” on how the spread of Covid-19 has changed the civil justice system, particularly with the swift expansion of remote hearings.’

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Litigation Futures, 4th May 2020

Source: www.litigationfutures.com

A decision “in these extraordinary times”: Re A (Children) (Remote Hearing: Care and Placement Orders) [2020] EWCA Civ 583 – Parklane Plowden Chambers

‘This case has been keenly awaited by family law practitioners, being the first appeal in a public law children case to reach the Court of Appeal on the issue of remote hearings during the COVID 19 pandemic. The appeal was heard on 22 April 2020. On the following day the same bench heard the second such appeal, Re B (Children) (Remote Hearing: Interim Care Order) [2020] EWCA (Civ) 584. There will undoubtedly be further appeals in children cases heard in the High Court or the Court of Appeal on the issue of remote hearings in the coming weeks.’

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Parklane Plowden Chambers, 30th April 2020

Source: www.parklaneplowden.co.uk

Re A (Children) (Remote Hearing: Care and Placement Orders)[2020] EWCA Civ 583 – Broadway House Chambers

‘This is the first appeal in a case relating to the welfare of children to reach the Court of Appeal on the issue of remote hearings during the Covid-19 crisis.’

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Broadway House Chambers, 1st May 2020

Source: broadwayhouse.co.uk

New video technology to conduct remote criminal hearings – Law Society’s Gazette

‘New video equipment is being introduced to over 100 courts as the government increasingly turns to technology to conduct hearings remotely and keep the justice system running during the Covid-19 pandemic.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 1st May 2020

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Court of Appeal sets out ‘cardinal points’ on remote hearings and approach to public law children cases – Local Government Lawyer

‘The Court of Appeal has handed down rulings in the first two appeals relating to the welfare of children to have reached the court on the issue of remote hearings during the COVID-19 pandemic.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 30th April 2020

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Re P (A Child remote Hearing) [2020] EWFC 32 – No. 5 Chambers

‘On 16th April 2020, Sir Andrew McFarlane handed down a case management judgment on a public law case which may have significant implications for case management decisions until court services return to normal. The case in question was on the issue of fabricated or induced illness and the issue was whether the final hearing should proceed remotely. The Mother opposed the local authority care plan. It was listed for a fifteen day hearing addressing whether she had harmed her seven year old daughter. Despite the coronavirus pandemic both the Father and the local authority supported the hearing continuing remotely. The Mother’s Solicitors’ had assumed it would proceed with plans to take instructions by Zoom or in between each piece of evidence. There were to be three expert witnesses.’

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No. 5 Chambers, 24th April 2020

Source: www.no5.com

Remote hearings and inclusive justice – Transparency Project

‘How effectively are people with a cognitive impairment, mental health condition and/or neuro-diverse condition able to participate in proceedings in the justice system, particularly when they engage with that system via video or telephone link?’

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Transparency Project, 24th April 2020

Source: www.transparencyproject.org.uk

Judges back guidance for remote detailed assessment hearings – Litigation Futures

‘Guidance on the conduct of remote detailed assessments (DAs) has been produced to get the system moving during the lockdown.’

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Litigation Futures, 23rd April 2020

Source: www.litigationfutures.com

Tribunals & COVID-19 First-tier & Upper Tribunals, and Traffic Commissioners – Henderson Chambers

Posted April 24th, 2020 in chambers articles, coronavirus, live link evidence, news, tribunals by sally

‘Much has been said in relation to the steps being taken to keep the criminal and civil courts going, but what’s going on in the First-tier and Upper Tribunals, as well as before the Traffic Commissioners?’

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Henderson Chambers, 20th April 2020

Source: 3yf6pp3bqg8c3rycgf1gbn9w-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com

A timely and important decision on remote hearings in the family courts – Re P: (A Child Remote Hearings) (2020) EWFC 32 – Garden Court Chambers

‘This is a serious FII case, and concerned care proceedings involving a 7 year old child. It was alleged that the mother had falsely made a number of damaging claims that her child was suffering from a myriad serious ailments and health conditions. This was all hotly disputed by the mother, so the case was fully contested. It had been fixed several months previously for a 15 days fact finding and disposal hearing before a Judge at Guildford Law Courts. Following the lockdown, the Judge had decided the case would proceed as a remote hearing using the Skype video platform.’

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Garden Court Chambers, 22nd April 2020

Source: www.gardencourtchambers.co.uk