Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Remote Access Family Court document version five released

Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Remote Access Family Court document version five released

A revised version of the Remote Access Family Court document has been published in relation to arrangements in the Family Court during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. The aim of the document is to identify problems arising from the continued need to utilise remote and hybrid hearings and to identify potential solutions to those problems. 

The document also sets out operational protocols to govern the position in the family courts while further solutions are being arrived at—as solutions are found to each problem, updated versions of the document are circulated. In each version major new additions are highlighted in red (before being changed to black in any subsequent version) and major redactions are struck through (before being deleted in any subsequent version). 

Mr Justice MacDonald has highlighted that version five of the Remote ​Access Family Court document includes the following updates: 

• hybrid hearings are now covered in detail at para [] and a protocol for hybrid hearings is set out at Appendix 3

• a new hybrid hearing template order has been added at Appendix 5

• the protocols for remote and fully attended hearings at Appendices 1 and 2 have been fully revised and updated

• the section on judicial discretion as to the format of hearings (at para [3.4.1]) has been fully updated in light of recent case law

• details are provided (at para [5.4.3]) of the sources of IT support for the judiciary, including dedicated support for Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service Cloud Video Platform (CVP)

• further details of new support available to litigants in person are set out at para [5.19.7] onwards, and

• more detail on the use of CVP is set out at para 7.3 onwards

Source: Updated version of the Remote Access Family Court released

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