Supreme Court > Services & support > Courtroom technology including the Virtual Courtroom

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Courtroom technology operations including the Virtual Courtroom


     ​​F​a​cility

Details 

Parties' responsibilities

Video and Telephone Links
Video and other links (e.g. telephone) in all matters before the Supreme Court are conducted via the Virtual Courtroom.

Link details will be provided by the Court in advance (typically by chambers in cases before judges) that will enable the parties, their representatives and any witnesses to appear in the Virtual Courtroom using a computer, a mobile phone, tablet or through the use of a dedicated video conferencing facility.
All parties before the Court should familiarise themselves with all protocols associated with attendance via the Virtual Courtroom prior to any appearances.

Protocols for appearing via the Virtual Courtroom are set out in the following Supreme Court publication, FACTSHEET: The Virtual Courtroom.

Legal representatives are responsible for ensuring that any of their witnesses or other attendees in the Virtual Courtroom are fully informed on the protocols (see above).

It is also recommended that in relation to the appearance of witnesses in the Virtual Courtroom, details should be forwarded in advance to the chambers of the presiding judicial officer.

Please note that the Court does not provide a technical support service/Helpdesk for users of the Virtual Courtroom; the requisite technical information (e.g. optimum browser versions for desktop links) is provided in the FACTSHEET.


Elec​tronic evidence playback


Most courtrooms used by the Supreme Court are equipped with large screens for evidence display purposes.

If the court session is conducted entirely using the Virtual Courtroom, parties wishing to display electronic evidence can use the 'Share Content' feaure in the Virtual Courtroom.

If parties appearing 'In person' (or in a 'Live' hearing), they should notify chambers in advance if they wish to present electronic evidence in the courtroom; this is to provide chambers with advance notice to ensure an appropriate courtroom allocation.

Parties intending to display electronic evidence in a 'Live' courtroom setting, they must supply their own laptop or other playback device (e.g. iPad, iPhone) to use in conjunction with the courtroom's audio visual (AV) system. The Court will faciliate the connection of that equipment (by cable) to the AV display screens in the courtroom.

Parties should ensure that any Memory Sticks/DVDs to be used for playback are fully tested beforehand on their laptop/playback devices to ensure that any additional software is sourced in advance. Parties should also use this opportunity to familiarise themselves with playback settings and controls to ensure that the playback exercise in the court setting is conducted efficiently.

Parties are reminded that it is their responsibility to ensure that there is someone present on the day of the sitting to operate the playback equipment.

Once the prior testing is completed, parties can seek access to the courtroom prior to the sitting date to check all the connections. 

Electronic or E-Hearings


The Court only provides the basic technology infrastructure for the e-Court , but does not provide the actual services (see below) or technical support which parties must organise through third party providers.

Potential features of an e-Hearing include real-time transcript, electronic court book (for the exchanges of discovery lists and full internet access. documents in court),

  • Parties are to refer to  Practice Note SC Gen 7 - Use of technology.
  • Parties are to endeavour to reach agreement with other parties early in the proceedings on the protocol to be used and the scope of that protocol. 
  • Parties are to seek either consent orders or directions from the Court, if agreement is not reached, concerning the terms of the protocol. 
  • Parties must give the Court as much notice as possible if they intend to electronically exchange discovery lists and documents.
  • Parties must decide on the protocol to be used and the scope of the protocol (See paragraph 16 in Practice Note SC Gen 7 to see what matters should be included in the protocol).
  • Parties and/or their agents are to provide hardware, software, necessary network connectivity  and training to the presiding judge/judges and their staff as required.

Jury deliberation


The following information is provided to assist parties intending to present electronic evidence in trials before the Supreme Court.
  • It is imperative that Prosecutors and lawyers test any evidence intended to be presented in a case, especially video and CCTV files prior to the scheduled court date, to ensure evidence is in a compatible format and able to be presented in both the courtroom and the jury deliberation room.
  • For trials conducted at King Street Courts and Darlinghurst Courts, you are required to also bring your own device capable of reading and displaying the files you are intending to present in the courtroom.
  • Please note that any documents (e.g. Word, Excel and PowerPoint) will need to be converted to PDF for presentation in Court.
Additional References
​Parties are to refer to the following documents: