New Video Platform To Be Rolled Out To Civil And Family Courts

HMCTS has announced a new video platform that will be rolled out to the civil and family courts will allow more remote cases to be heard safely.

Following a successful implementation of the Cloud Video Platform (CVP) across 153 magistrates and crown courts, the plan to roll out the CVP across further courts is part of HMCTS’ recovery plan to ensure justice continues to be served.

CVP can be accessed by any device that has a camera and microphone, which allows for easy access, yet sessions can be locked to ensure that only the appropriate parties join. Training can also be given beforehand in ‘training rooms’ to enable those joining sessions can ‘rehearse’ and feel confident with the technology.

By extending the technology to all courts across England and Wales, means that civil and family proceeds can be held remotely, allowing users a safe, reliable and accessible service, meaning that justice can continue to be delivered as well as the avoidance of a large backlog.

Courts Minister, Chris Philp, said:

“We have worked closely with the judiciary to continue thousands of hearings during the pandemic.

“This new system will bolster our efforts to prioritise urgent cases and increase our capacity to hear them remotely – ensuring justice is delivered effectively and safely.”

HMCTS’ recovery plan sets out how courts will tackle the expected increase in outstanding cases, in a safe way, following the pandemic. The plans include increasing capacity through new ‘Nightingale’ court sites, assessing whether extended hours can be offered as well as how a jury trials can be held whilst meeting social distancing guidelines.

Since the pandemic began the amount of cases across all courts involving remote technology has increased by 90%. HMCTS has stated that this:

“has meant that domestic abuse victims could continue to obtain protection orders, children could be safeguarded and dangerous suspects would not be released from jail as their remand expired.”

The CVP is being rolled out to further crown and magistrates’ courts this month and it is scheduled to be available in all criminal courtrooms by the end of July. The extension to county courts will take place over the next few months to cover every civil and family court site.

 

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