The Supreme Court provides the facilities for the delivery of both video and telephone conferencing services.
The capacity to conduct a video conference or audio-visual link (AVL), is available in many but not all courtrooms at the Supreme Court.
AVLs required for criminal matters (i.e. involving an inmate in a NSW facility) will be managed through the Court, no 1. Criminal matters
The Court will provide the service involving AVLs to correctional facilities and no charges will apply.
2. Civil matters
The Court requires the parties wishing to conduct a video conference in a courtroom setting to contact a dedicated external video conferencing provider to facilitate the call. A list of Australian providers is
The external video conferencing provider can also you assist with arrangements at the remote location (e.g. organising a video suite) and will provide the technical expertise to deliver the AVL on the day.
Please ask your confereniong provider to contact the Courtroom Support Coordinator (ph. +61 2 9230 8801) to organise a test call in advance, noting additional time is required to coordinate AVLs to overseas locations in different time zones.
On the day of the actual conference, the court expects you to have a representative on hand to liaise/instruct your external video conferencing provider.
(Please note that the Court does not endorse the use of peer-to-peer desktop AVL proprietr software (e.g. Skype, Jabber) on client devices as there is no guaranteed internet or bandwidth connectivity. In addition, these computer to computer connections do not provide a full range of camera views in a courtroom setting).
Parties to complete an
Application for Telephone/Video Link form that will be returnable before a judge of the court who will decide whether to issue an
Order Approving Telephone/Video Link.
If an order is obtained from a judge, the party or organisation requesting the Video Conference link is required to complete a
Video Conference Booking Form and pay a (non-refundable)
The order approving the video link must be annexed to the completed Video Conference Booking Form and filed in the registry (together with the booking fee) prior to the conference taking place. Parties will be invoiced for additional call charges following the completion of the conference.
It is the responsibility of the party requesting the video conference or their agents to coordinate the booking of witness and AVL facilities at the remote location.
The parties are required toIf as recommended by the court, the parties engage an external video conferencing provider, these remote location arrangements can be included in the service.
Parties are requested to attend the courtroom where the conference will take place 15-20 minutes prior to the commencement to enable the court officer to:
If the video conference is proceeding with the involvement of an external video conferencing provider, it is strongly recommended that the parties involved organise a test of the connection at least 24 hours before the conference is due to take place. Parties may contact the
Courtroom Support Coordinator to facilitate these arrangements. This test call will check the call quality and ensure that all administrative arrangements are in place.
Where the video conference relates to the taking of evidence under oath in a court hearing, the party or organisation requesting the link is to ensure that the relevant religious text (e.g. Bible, Koran) is available at the remote video conference site for the swearing in of participants/witnesses and interpreters. It is the responsibility of the parties to ensure that consideration is given to the requirements in particular countries that any oath or affirmation to be taken by a witness accords with local custom, and not the usual form of oath or affirmation taken in Australia. In the absence of a religious text, evidence will be taken under affirmation.
The parties must also consider who needs to be in attendance with the witness (such as an official from a local court, another person acceptable to the Court or no one). It may be advantageous for the parties to consider the participation of another person in attendance with the witness, as this person could perform activities such as administering the oath or affirmation (if authorised to do so) and ensuring that the witness does not receive any unauthorised assistance.
Parties should ensure that the remote witness is briefed beforehand on the courtroom practices, for example, taking an oath or affirmation (which would normally be administered in the Court room) and not responding until directed to do so by the judicial officer when an objection is taken.
In addition, a document image camera is available for viewing images (such as documents and x-rays). It is preferable if the order of documents to be shown to the witness is settled and made available to the court officer prior to the transmission.
Parties should arrive 15-20 minutes prior to the commencement of the video conference to be available when the court officer establishes the availability of the remote site.
For video conference calls involving the participation of external video conferencing providers, it is strongly recommended that a test link be coordinated at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled time of the actual conference. Please contact the
Courtroom Support Coordinator to facilitate this test link. Parties should also arrive 15-20 minutes prior to the commencement of the actual conference to re-establish the live link with their external provider. A representative should also be present at all times to convey any information to the external provider in the event of an unexpected delay in the timing of the conference.
The person appearing via the video conference is to be informed
before the live transmission commences of the names of the judicial officer and counsel involved.
The examination of the witness at the remote location will follow as closely as possible the practice that would have taken place if that witness were in the courtroom. During examination, cross-examination and re-examination, the witness will see counsel asking the question and those present in the courtroom will see the witness.
If approval has been obtained to conduct a video conference call using ISDN connectivity, please direct your external video conferencing provider (see below) to the technical summary below to ensure system compatibility:
Technical Information for Supreme Court Videolink Systems:
Below is a list of external video conference providers. The Supreme Court does not endorse any particular company, the list is simply to assist parties in securing the services of a specialist provider.
These can be facilitated in all courtrooms.
Parties to complete an Application for Telephone/Video Link form that will be returnable before a judge of the court (usually the trial judge in chambers beforehand) who will decide whether to issue an Order Approving Telephone/Video Link.
If an order is obtained from a judge, the party or organisation requesting the telephone conference is then required to complete a Telephone Conference Booking Form and pay any booking fees that may apply.
The order approving the telephone conference must be annexed to the completed Telephone Conference Booking Form and filed in the registry (together with any booking fees) prior to the conference taking place. Parties will be invoiced for any additional charges (e.g. for international calls, multi-party conferlink service) following the completion of the conference.
Parties are requested to attend the courtroom where the conference will take place 15 minutes prior to the commencement time to enable the court officer to:
Following the completion of the conference, the court will seek payment (an invoice will be issued) for additional charges that may apply.
*All charges are GST inclusive
** For outgoing ISDN connections only. Note, these charges will not be applied where the ISDN video conference link is
dialled into the court (typically using an external service provider).
*** Call charges exceeding $20.00 will be billed to clients after link has concluded.
Practice Note SC Gen 7 - Use of technology
Practice Note SC Gen 15 - Use of audio-visual links in criminal and certain civil proceedings
Common Law Registrar's telephone directions list