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Kara Swift
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Practical Guidance regarding Video Hearings

Date:23 APR 2020
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Many court hearings are currently being conducted by telephone or video link. This guide provides useful tips and advice on preparing for and attending a video hearing.

What information will the Court need before my video hearing?

  • You will need to provide the Court with your e-mail address. The day before the hearing the Court will e-mail you a web link to join the video hearing.

     

  • If you have instructed a Solicitor, your Solicitor will provide the Court with your preferred e-mail address (if this isn’t the e-mail address which your Solicitor has on their file for you, then you should let your Solicitor know in advance of the hearing date).

What can I do to prepare for my video hearing?

  • The Court will usually conduct the video hearing using Skype for Business. You must download Skype for Business software on the device you will use to join the hearing. Skype for Business is free to download. Check this step by step guidance on how to download it for your device.

     

  • Make sure that your device is fully charged, and you are connected to the internet in order to avoid being cut off during the hearing.

     

  • Think ahead about where you will sit during the video hearing. You will need a quiet private space where you will not be disturbed during the hearing. Also, make sure that you sit somewhere where you cannot be overheard, especially if you live with children who are the subject of the proceedings.

  • Make sure that your video background is clear. You should sit somewhere that doesn’t contain pictures, posters etc., on the wall.

     

  • Make sure that you dress appropriately for the hearing. This means smart dress.  Although the hearing is being conducted by video it is still a court hearing and isn’t any less important or serious in nature than if the hearing were being conducted in person.

How do I join my video hearing? 

  • Make sure you are ready to join the hearing at least 15 mins before it is due to start. This will help you feel ready for the start of the hearing.

    To join the video hearing:

  • Click on the Skype for Business link in your email
  • Join as a guest
  • Wait in the Skype lobby until the Chairperson invites you into the hearing
  • Stay on mute with your video off until you are asked to speak or turn the video on

If you require technical support to join a video hearing you can call the Court’s audio and video hearing support line on 0330 8089405.

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What will happen during my video hearing?

Once all the parties have joined the hearing, a member of the Court staff (usually the Judge’s Clerk) will introduce themselves and explain how the hearing will work and what you need to do. The Judge’s Clerk will then invite the Judge to join the hearing

 

  • The Judge will usually invite the legal representatives of each party to speak, to avoid the parties speaking over one another

     

  • If you do not have legal representation at the hearing, then the Judge will talk to you directly and invite you to speak, again to avoid the parties speaking over one another

     

  • The issues discussed at the hearing will be the same as if the hearing were being held in person

     

  • The hearing will also be recorded

What if I lose connection during my video hearing?

  • Do not panic, simply re-join the hearing.

    What happens after my video hearing?

  • The Judge or Judge’s Clerk will confirm that the hearing has finished and tell you when you can leave the call

     

  • You may want to speak to your Barrister and/or Solicitor after the hearing or your Barrister and/or Solicitor may want to speak to you.  You should leave the telephone hearing first before doing this 
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