Video courtrooms are being tested with members of the public for the first time. The Ministry of Justice has announced that some tax appeals will be heard via video link this spring.
This is part of a £1bn investment in the modernisation of the court service. It is designed to save people time and money which would otherwise be spent travelling to court. It is also intended to make it easier for those with health issues that might make getting to court difficult.
Justice Minister, Lucy Frazer, said: “We are spending £1 billion on transforming and modernising the justice system. Video hearings have the potential to improve access to justice and speed up cases. This pilot will provide important information – together with an increasing body of evidence from other countries – to drive innovation to make the wider system quicker, smarter, and much more user-friendly.”
HMCTS are currently sending out invitations to those eligible to participate in the pilot. The hearings will be held via the internet and using a webcam. Participants will be able to log in from wherever they choose while the judge will remain in the court room.
Similar technology is already being used in certain cases to avoid bringing victims or witnesses into direct contact with the accused. Other recent court reforms which aim to make access to justice easier and more efficient include an online divorce application service and a similar programme for online tax appeals. The latter has resulted in a drastic reduction in the number of applications that are returned for being inaccurate or incomplete.
The Law Society has conducted the largest ever international survey of gender equality in the legal profession. 7,781 responses were collected (5,758 women, 554 men, 20 other, and 1,449 unknown). Christina Blacklaws, vice president of The Law Society said:...
The news that Toys R Us is to close all UK stores hit the headlines this week, resulting in the loss of 3,000 jobs. HSBC revealed that its gender pay gap is a huge 60% and Unilever is moving its HQ to Rotterdam over London. Also in the news, Chancellor...
We’re conducting a nation-wide survey to gather valuable insights about working in the legal industry in 2017. Enter for the chance to win £250 Amazon vouchers and to find out how your salary compares to the earnings of other legal professionals.