Fixed Fee and Virtual Mediations – Becket Chambers

Posted December 1st, 2020 in dispute resolution, fees, news, remote hearings by sally

‘The present pandemic has resulted in a significant increase in the time it takes matters, especially civil claims, to get to court for a final hearing and those delays are only going to get longer so there has never been a better time to consider mediation as a quick, cheap and effective alternative to litigation and the Civil Mediation Council’s Fixed Fee Mediation scheme allows parties to benefit from a very economic tariff for relatively low-value claims (i.e. up to £50,000) using CMC-accredited civil mediators.’

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Becket Chambers, 13th November 2020

Source: becket-chambers.co.uk

Speech by the Chancellor of the High Court to Harvard Law School: Online courts – Perspectives from the Bench and the Bar – Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

‘Speech by the Chancellor of the High Court to Harvard Law School: Online courts – Perspectives from the Bench and the Bar.’

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Courts and Tribunals Judiciary, 25th November 2020

Source: www.judiciary.uk

Remote Hearings in the Family of Courts of England and Wales: what the research shows – Transparency Project

‘Hearings in the family courts of England and Wales are almost unrecognisable today to the hearings that took place prior to the outbreak of Covid-19. On 23 March 2020, it was announced that a nationwide lockdown was to begin the following day and last indefinitely. Between 23 March and 6 April, video hearings increased by 340% across courts and tribunals in England and Wales. Audio hearings increased by over 500%. Today, remote and hybrid (where some people attend in person and some via a telephone or video link) hearings have become commonplace. Even final hearings are now being conducted remotely. The transition to remote and hybrid hearings has helped to mitigate the delay before cases are heard. It helping to minimise an increasing backlog of cases. Telephone and video hearings have their benefits for parents, children and professionals alike, which might even see remote hearings continue in use in some cases beyond the pandemic. However, remote hearings come at a cost, as two consultations by the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory (NFJO) demonstrate.’

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Transparency Project, 13th November 2020

Source: www.transparencyproject.org.uk

Hodge worries about impact of pandemic on young lawyers – Litigation Futures

‘The deputy president of the Supreme Court has expressed fears that young lawyers have been unable to train properly during the pandemic and urged the profession to ensure there is no lasting damage to their education.’

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Litigation Futures, 12th November 2020

Source: www.litigationfutures.com

Family Justice Council report on domestic abuse and special measures in remote and hybrid hearings – Family Law

Posted November 12th, 2020 in domestic violence, family courts, news, remote hearings by tracey

‘The Family Justice Council has published guidance titled “Safety from Domestic Abuse and Special Measures in Remote and Hybrid Hearings”. The guidance recommends that, in any proceedings where domestic abuse is an issue, careful consideration must be given to whether special measures are required and how hybrid/remote hearings should be facilitated to safeguard vulnerable parties. It suggests proactive advance planning of hearings, consideration of risks involved and practical support to promote physical and emotional safety of all participants and provides a checklist of those considerations.’

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Family Law, 11th November 2020

Source: www.familylaw.co.uk

Civil court recovery: More in-person hearings and longer hours – Litigation Futures

‘Up to two-thirds of civil hearings will take place face-to-face over the coming months as the caseload increases, with longer operating hours an option for courts if needed.’

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Litigation Futures, 10th November 2020

Source: www.litigationfutures.com

Top family judge publishes guidance on protection of domestic abuse victims in remote and hybrid hearings – Local Government Lawyer

‘The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, has published guidance on the need to protect victims of domestic abuse in remote and hybrid hearings.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 11th November 2020

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Do Practice Directions make perfect? – Hardwicke Chambers

Posted November 10th, 2020 in civil procedure rules, insolvency, news, practice directions, remote hearings by sally

‘By way of introduction to this topic it is worth recalling that by the time the Insolvency (England and Wales) Rules 2016 (“IR 2016”) came into force in April 2017 the Practice Direction on Insolvency Proceedings (“IPD”) had still not been updated to take account of the reforms introduced by IR 2016. Nor had it been updated to take account of the Electronic Working Pilot Scheme in CPR Practice Direction 51O (“EWPS”). In fact, there followed a significant period during which the IPD and IR 2016 were not compatible. The delay was at least in part caused by the reforms to the court system in England and Wales that resulted in the creation of the Business and Property Courts (“B&PC”). A new Practice Direction to govern the procedure in the B&PC came into effect in October 2017 and although subsequently supplemented by other changes, it was not until 25 April 2020 that a revised IPD, compatible with IR 2016, was finally released and even this was quickly superseded by a more definitively revised IPD on 4 July 2018. However, there were some significant anomalies with regard to the intermeshing of these various procedural rules and practice directions, not least in the area of out-of-court appointments of administrators.’

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Hardwicke Chambers, 7th October 2020

Source: hardwicke.co.uk

Children: Public Law Update (October) – Family Law Week

“John Tughan QC of 4PB considers the latest judgments that Public law child lawyers need to know about.”

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Family Law Week, 28th October 2020

Source: www.familylawweek.co.uk

Four in ten parents “do not understand remote hearings” – Legal Futures

Posted October 28th, 2020 in coronavirus, families, family courts, news, remote hearings, statistics by sally

‘Four in ten parents who have been involved in a remote family hearing say they did not understand it, a major study has discovered.’

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Legal Futures, 28th October 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

The Perils of Zoom: the Court allows an appeal against a judge’s refusal to recuse herself after she was inadvertently overheard making negative comments about a party during a Zoom hearing – 1 GC: Family Law

Posted October 27th, 2020 in appeals, internet, judges, news, recusal, remote hearings by sally

‘The Court of Appeal allowed an appeal against a judge’s refusal to recuse herself after she was overheard making pejorative comments about a party during a break in a Zoom hearing, and brings the perils of a remote hearing into sharp focus. Tahmina Rahman, barrister at 1 GC Family Law, examines the issues.’

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1 GC: Family Law, 21st October 2020

Source: 1gc.com

Babies being removed from mothers during remote hearings – report – The Guardian

‘New mothers are having their babies taken into care during remote video and phone hearings from hospital, according to a report on justice during the coronavirus pandemic.’

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The Guardian, 27th October 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Remote hearings “can bring horror into your home”, says judge – Legal Futures

Posted October 19th, 2020 in coronavirus, families, family courts, judges, news, remote hearings by sally

‘A particularly unwelcome issue for judges hearing cases remotely is that some of the most disturbing elements of serious family cases are being heard at home, a High Court judge reported last week.’

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Legal Futures, 19th October 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Remote hearing success means no backlog in some family courts – Legal Futures

Posted October 15th, 2020 in coronavirus, delay, family courts, news, remote hearings by tracey

‘The family court system has adapted so well to remote working that some courts do not have a backlog of cases, the president of the Family Division said yesterday.’

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Legal Futures, 15th October 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Lord Sumption: justice faces digital trade-off – Law Society’s Gazette

‘The court system faces a trade-off between the quality of justice and the cost of delivering it, former Supreme Court justice Lord Sumption has said in a biting assessment of virtual hearings. Speaking at the Commercial Litigators’ Forum, Lord Sumption (Jonathan Sumption QC) said if quality of justice was the only concern “we would go back to ordinary oral hearings.” ‘

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Law Society's Gazette, 5th October 2020

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

The impact of digitalisation on the immigration process – EIN Blog

‘The coronavirus pandemic created an impetus for the legal world to finally begin accepting digitalisation of processes, moving away from the traditional paper process to an online version. The immigration process is already faced with a myriad of concerns which leaves the applicant in a weak position, and most often, with a lack of funds to cover their costs. The Home Office’s inability to train and effectively manage applications, outsource services to dubious third-party contractors has been exacerbated further by the haphazard application of online processes which do not match the needs of the immigration process. Despite the fact that online applications are easier to complete for legal representatives a number of issues have arisen as a result of this sudden change.’

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EIN Blog, 21st September 2020

Source: www.ein.org.uk

Virtual hearings deny young lawyers “huge amount” of training – Litigation Futures

‘A High Court judge has voiced concerns that young solicitors and barristers are missing out on a “huge amount” of training because of virtual hearings.’

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Litigation Futures, 8th September 2020

Source: www.litigationfutures.com

Judge highlights open justice benefits of telephone hearings – Litigation Futures

Posted September 7th, 2020 in bail, coronavirus, extradition, judges, news, remote hearings, telephone hearings by sally

‘There is “a lot to be said” for telephone, rather than video, hearings from the perspective of open justice and parties should bear this in mind when deciding how to proceed, a High Court judge has said.’

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Litigation Futures, 4th September 2020

Source: www.litigationfutures.com

Judges issues guidance to experts on remote evidence – Litigation Futures

Posted September 3rd, 2020 in evidence, expert witnesses, news, remote hearings by sally

‘A panel of top judges has issued guidance for expert witnesses on giving evidence remotely, which warns that “processing information through online contact is hard”.’

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Litigation Futures, 3rd September 2020

Source: www.litigationfutures.com

Mother and grandparents win appeal over interim care orders – Local Government Lawyer

‘The Court of Appeal has allowed an appeal by a mother and the maternal grandparents against interim care orders made in respect of three children, saying the transcript of the hearing before the recorder “demonstrates once again the difficulties facing courts required to conduct hearings remotely because of the restrictions imposed as a result of the pandemic”.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 24th August 2020

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk