Supreme Court > Services & support > Courtroom technology facilities - An Overview

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Technology in the courtroom - Protocols and Procedures for Video and Audio Link



1. Video Links - overview​​

​Criminal matters​

Video Links in criminal proceedings (i.e. involving an inmate in a NSW correctional facility) will be managed through the Court and no charges will apply. 

Civil matters

The Court requests parties approved to conduct a Video Link in a civil case to contact a dedicated external video conferencing provider to facilitate the video link and make other administrative arrangements as required. As the court does not provide a technical onsite support function, this will help to reduce delays and interruptions in proceedings as a result of technical and/or other difficulties.

The Court will issue the parties/external provider with a dedicated video link address for the courtroom. It is the responsibility of the parties involved to work with their external video conferencing provider to determine the most effective way to connect to the courtroom. 

The Court further recommends that the parties use this dedicated address in advance of the Video Link to complete a test link.

An external video conferencing provider can also potentially assist parties with arrangements at the remote location (e.g. organising a video suite) and can also provide technical support to deliver the Video Link on the day.

A list of Australian providers is here

The Court expects parties to have a representative in the courtroom to provide coordination with all external witnesses who will be appearing via Video Link.

(Please note that the Court does not endorse the use of peer-to-peer desktop video link proprietry software (e.g. Skype, BlueJeans, 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).


2. Requesting a Video Link​​

Apply

Parties to complete an Application for Telephone/Video Link form that will be returnable in chambers before a judge of the court who will decide whether to issue an Order Approving Telephone/Video Link.

Book

If an order is obtained from a judge, the party or organisation requesting the Video Link is required to complete a Video Conference Booking Form and pay a (non-refundable) bookin​g fee.

File

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. 


3. Responsibilities of parties in a Video Link​

Book and notify

It is the responsibility of the party requesting the Video Link (or their agents) to coordinate the booking of witness and facilities at the remote location. 

If as recommended by the court, the parties engage an external video conferencing provider, remote location arrangements can be included in that service.

It is also the responsibility of the parties and/or their agents to connect to the courtroom using the dedicated Video Link address provided in advance.


Attend

Parties are requested to attend the courtroom where the conference will take place 10-15 minutes prior to the commencement to enable the court officer to check that all arrangements are in place and to make contact with the external witness in the event of a change of circumstances (e.g. a delay in the timing of the link).


Provide religious text as required 

Where the Video Link involves the taking of evidence under oath in a court hearing, the party 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. 


Brief remote witness

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 courtroom) and not responding until directed to do so by the judicial officer when an objection is taken. 


The person appearing via the Video Link is also to be informed by his/her legal representatives before the live transmission commences of the names of the judicial officer and counsel involved.​

In addition, any documents that are intended for viewing by the remote witness should be supplied to the remote location in advance. 


In the Video Link courtroom

A representative of the parties requesting the Video Link should be present in the courtroom at all times to convey any information to the external witnesses/agents in the event of an unexpected delay in the timing of the Video Link.

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. 



4. External video conferencing providers


Below is a list of external video conference providers in Australia who have provided services to parties in the past. 

The Supreme Court does not endorse any particular company, the list is simply to assist parties in securing the services of a specialist provider. 



​Prov​ider​Website
​Why Gow: ​http://www.whygo.net
e: bookings@whygo.net
​Chorus Call Aust.http://www.choruscallaustralia.com.au/




5. Audio/Telephone Links​​​


These can be facilitated in all courtrooms for single and/or multiple participants. 

The procedures to be followed to facilitate a Audio/Telephone Link are as follows:

​Apply


Parties to complete an Application for Telephone/Video Link form that will be returnable before a judge of the court (in chambers) 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 Audio/Telephone Link is then required to complete a Telephone Conference Booking Form.

File


The order approving the Audio/Telephone Link must be annexed to the completed Telephone Conference Booking Form and filed in the registry prior to the Link taking place.

Party instructions

Depending on the location of the person(s) appearing before the Court via a telephone link, the Court will either dial the number provided on the completed booking form, or will issue the parties requesting the link with a dedicated phone number for all participants appearing to dial to connect to the Court.

For telephone conferences involving multiple participants, a dedicated number will always be provided by the Court.

In the situation where the Court provides the telephone conference number, the parties requesting the link will be responsible for communicating these details to all participants.

All participants should be instructed to dial the conference number immediately prior to time allocated to make sure they are on time and do not delay proceedings.



6. Fe​es*



​Service​Call​ destination​Booking Fee (non-refundable)
​Video Link (civil)Any​$120.00
​Single Party Audio/Telephone Link
​Within Australia​​​No charge

​​Outside AustraliaNo charge**​
​Multiple Party Audio/Telephone Link
​Any
​No charge
*All charges are GST inclusive
**Call charges may apply and will be billed to parties after Audio/Telephone Link has concluded.




7. Fo​rms​