Courts throughout Victoria will quickly begin testing digital courtroom technologies after in-person hearings and trials were being suspended owing to the swiftly escalating coronavirus pandemic.
Supreme Courtroom main justice Anne Ferguson introduced ideas for the e-court docket pilots on Friday, even though suspending committal hearings throughout the condition for at least the next 7 months.
All new jury trials in the Supreme Courtroom and County Courtroom, as very well as the empanelling of jurors, have previously been suspended right up until additional observe in a bid to incorporate the unfold of COVID-19.
“In both of those the criminal and civil courts, we are swiftly going to a position exactly where appearances will be managed as a result of the digital and electronic natural environment,” Ferguson reported.
“Not all courts have the technical capacity still, but substantial do the job is underway to construct that as soon as achievable.”
Ferguson reported the pilots would kick off “immediately” in Victorian courts and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal to assure judges, legal professionals and defendants can backlink-up remotely.
The technologies would then be “scaled up to satisfy the changing requires of the sector”, even though she acknowledged that this was nevertheless some time absent.
“We are not there still. Nor do we have all the responses,” she reported.
“The scenario is fluid and going rapidly and even though we simply cannot predict what may possibly come about with COVID-19 in the quick long run we will go on to shift to a extra agile and adaptable natural environment.
The Supreme Courtroom has been contacted for added info about the trials, including which video conferencing computer software will be examined.
As at Friday, Victoria had the next optimum amount of confirmed COVID-19 scenarios in Australia after NSW (307) with 121.