The Supreme Court provides the facilities for the delivery of both video and telephone conferencing services.
1. Criminal matters
AVLs required for criminal matters (i.e. involving an inmate in a NSW correctional facility) will be managed through the Court and no charges will apply.
2. Civil matters
The Court requires the parties wishing to conduct a video conference in a civil case to contact a dedicated external video conferencing provider to facilitate the call. This will hopefully reduce delays and interruption for the proceedings as a result of technical and/or other difficulties.
The external video conferencing provider can also assist parties with arrangements at the remote location (e.g. organising a video suite) and can also provide technical support to deliver the AVL on the day.
A list of Australian providers is
Once this contact has been made, the parties are asked to contact the Court's Courtroom Support Coordinator (ph. +61 2 9230 8801) to confirm that these arrangements are underway; this will provide the court with sufficient notice to organise a suitable courtroom and support on the day.
Please ask your conferencing 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.
If as recommended by the court, the parties engage an external video conferencing provider, these remote location arrangements can be included in that service.
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)
Where the video conference relates to 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.
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.
The person appearing via the video conference 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.
Parties should arrive 10-15 minutes prior to the commencement of the video conference to be available when the court officer establishes the availability of the remote site. 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.
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 ask your external video conferencing provider to contact the
Courtroom Support Coordinator to facilitate this test 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.
If your external video conferencing provider asks for technical details of the Court's AVL systems, the information below will assist:
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 for single or multiple (up to 10 persons) participants.
The procedures to be followed to facilitate a telephone conference are as follows:
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 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.
The parties requesting the telephone conference call must follow the relevant instructions below:
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
**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