The outbreak of Covid-19 has put a sharp focus on video link hearings in legal proceedings, and has greatly accelerated their use. The Coronavirus Act 2020 has expanded the use of remote hearings in the criminal courts. Over the Easter weekend,The Times reported that the Grenfell Tower Inquiry could resume "entirely online over remote access technology….Doing so would make Grenfell the world’s first virtual public inquiry”. It is anticipated that remote hearings will be used more and more over the next few months - and beyond.
QEB Hollis Whiteman’s Regulatory team has substantial experience in conducting cases remotely using video links. Effective preparation is crucial for what can be a logistically complex process.
In this article, we set out a list of matters to be considered when it is proposed that a witness should be heard remotely over a video link. If the parties and the Tribunal will be remote from each other as well, many of the considerations we set out are of equal application.