Remote hearings in civil proceedings via video-conferencing and telephone
Remote hearings in civil proceedings via video-conferencing and telephone

The following Dispute Resolution practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Remote hearings in civil proceedings via video-conferencing and telephone
  • Use of audio and video-conferencing for hearings in times of Coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Will the hearing be conducted remotely?
  • Arguments for and against a remote hearing during COVID-19
  • Remote hearing guidance issued due to COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Act 2020
  • CPR PD 51Y—video or audio hearings during Coronavirus pandemic
  • Access details to remote hearings
  • Which electronic platform should be used for the remote hearing?
  • From where can litigants participate in a remote hearing during COVID-19?
  • More...

This Practice Note gives guidance on remote hearings, via video-conference and telephone. It covers relevant CPR provisions and related guidance, as well as special considerations for witnesses giving evidence via video-conferencing. It also provides guidance on use of phone hearings and video-conferencing in times of coronavirus (COVID-19), including on CPR PD 51Y and the Coronavirus Act 2020. In addition, the use of IT in court is considered.

Depending on the court in which your matter is proceeding, you may also need to be mindful of additional provisions—see further Court specific guidance.

Use of audio and video-conferencing for hearings in times of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Due to the challenges presented by coronavirus (COVID-19), the Lord Chief Justice gave guidance that the default position is that hearings should be conducted with one, more than one or all participants attending remotely—see: LNB News 19/03/2020 93—Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Civil and Family Courts guidance from Lord Chief Justice. This position has been reiterated in a statement on 5 January 2021, which states that ‘[f]acilitating remote attendance of all or some of those involved in hearings is the default position in all jurisdictions, whether backed by regulations or not.’ See Message from Lord Chief Justice amid new coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions—LNB News 05/01/2021 61.

It has been stressed that ‘the rules in both the civil and family courts are flexible enough to enable telephone and video hearings of

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