An entire trial in London is currently being conducted over Skype.
A Court of Protection case is deciding whether a stroke victim in his 70s should continue to receive tube feeding and hydration. The man is both conscious and sentient.
The man’s daughter has told the court that she disagrees with his GP about the course of his treatment and the clinical team has referred the matter to court for a three-day hearing.
A judge, lawyers, 11 witnesses, three experts and two journalists have joined calls to the hearing using Skype for Business.
The technology allows all contributions to be seen and heard and also records the hearing.
Full and fair participation
Barrister John McKendrick QC, representing the man’s GP, told the UK Law Society Gazette: “It was very effective, and allowed for full and fair participation by all parties, using a laptop from their home or office.”
“It’s a necessary step – it’s important for the rule of law to ensure the courts continue to function during this crisis.”
Observers believe the technology can keep the court system moving and ensure access to justice.
Meanwhile, the UK’s Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett of Maldon said this morning that both civil and family courts could move to telephone and video hearings.
“Any legal impediments will be dealt with,” he said.