TMCnet Feature
January 29, 2021

Courtrooms to make way for video technology in 2021

Courtrooms in 2021 will likely evolve to become far more unfamiliar than we may remember them to be. It’s unlikely they’ll ever truly get back to how they were, with the expected adoption worldwide of new video and audio technologies.

The impact of a global pandemic has hit the legal sector hard with case backlogs stretching far and wide and logistical nightmares raising their heads in a sector that has never fully adopted video technology into it’s processes. Although there are positives and negatives to introducing video tech into court hearings and the legal process, the inevitable transition is essential if there is to be any hope of recovering from the situation we find ourselves in.

This adoption of new technology will impact almost every individual that takes part in court hearings and legal cases including the judge, solicitors, courtroom staff, witnesses and defendants. The expected change will manifest itself in the use of video and audio from remote locations - meaning users will have to become familiar with the Cloud Video Platform (cloud software that provides the connection between remote laptops and computers with courtrooms and solicitors) and would be expected to have stable internet connections, quality audio and quality video cameras.

Job landscapes would be expected to change too and staff that are employed to work in and run courtrooms, would likely be cut back due to the drastic reduction in the number of individuals attending physical courtrooms for their hearings. With this cut back in physical courtroom staff, we would likely see a rise in the number of businesses and companies providing video technology services to the judicial sector whether that be focused on further improving video technology being used or offering training on systems already currently in place.

These changes present a range of challenges for the judicial sectors to overcome, particularly when it comes to the end user, notably those that may be hard of hearing, visually impared, individuals that are unfamiliar with using computers or video technology etc. All could struggle to easily adopt this new style of court hearing. As a result, exceptions will have to be made in certain cases to accommodate requests to attend court or for extra services to be available to help assist where appropriate.

Backlogs of cases continue to pile up and the initial adoption of video and CVP to the judicial system has begun to tackle this issue. Since it’s first use, there has now been a successful implementation of the CVP (Cloud Video Platform) across 60 crown courts and 93 magistrates’ courts. This tech has been utilised for over 3,500 crown court hearings and over 7,000 overnight remand cases.

We can be certain that video technology adoption is the future for the judicial sector across the world. It will be imperative to future-proof courts against similar threats to Covid-19 and ensure that everything is done to protect the judicial process to allow cases to continue to run. The UK has shown that adoption of this technology is possible, how easy this is to implement across the globe is something we’ll have to wait to discover.

Alan Roody is a professional blogger and writer. He loves to write for his blog: widetopics

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