Justice through a screen

23 December 2020

When lockdown happened in March 2020, businesses across the UK were forced to quickly re-think their way of working. The Justice System and Courts faced the same difficulties, with previously hectic Court rooms falling silent, replaced with remote hearings conducted over the phone or by video.

The Benefits of Virtual Courtrooms

The benefits of this change, in particular in Family Law hearings, is both travel and waiting times have been reduced for everyone involved in these hearings, leading to a reduction in costs for many.

Perhaps most significantly, particularly in family law cases: the chances of having to be in the presence of someone, with whom you have a fractious relationship, has been significantly diminished.

Is Justice truly being served?

The question being asked in some quarters is whether this new way of working is leaving some people worried that their voices are not being heard in the same way as they would be in a physical Courtroom.

Many legal professionals are convinced that the outcome of cases would remain the same whether decided in person (in a Courtroom), or via a technological alternative, but do the parties involved feel the same?

Some are concerned that these life changing decisions, being delivered through a screen, feel like a lonely, impersonal experience. With parties to the Court action receiving decisions on separations, finances and even their children’s care, whilst sitting alone in their home looking at a screen, it is understandable that some people may feel they are not getting the opportunity to put their side of the story to the Judge.

This perception is often not helped by the initial technical difficulties facing people attending hearings in this way, and the informal backgrounds of home settings.

Having your ‘day in court’

We understand that sometimes clients wish, or need, to have their “day in court” and for their voices to be truly heard. This is why we, at Redkite, have set up “Remote Hearing Rooms” in all of our offices to accommodate clients and their representatives in a covid-safe, private, yet professional environment.

Our Remote Hearing Rooms allow our clients and their solicitors or barristers to thoroughly discuss their cases before, and after, hearings just as they would do if they were appearing in person at Court. Our Remote Hearing Rooms also remove any technical issues which could arise at home, as our dedicated team are on hand to set up for the hearing in advance.

We fully appreciate that some clients may not wish to be in a Court room in the presence of other parties, in order to avoid the risk of any unpleasant encounters. Remote Hearings allow for a private space where our clients can prepare properly, without the emotion which can often come hand in hand with being around someone you no longer have a positive relationship with.

An added bonus of using Remote Hearing Rooms is, if our clients have any questions during the hearing, our expert solicitors are present, either in the office or remotely, so no question goes unheard or unanswered.

Information for those seeking advice and assistance

Redkite Solicitors have a specialist team of Family lawyers who make it their priority to work in your best interests at all times. This often includes minimising the stress involved in attending a hearing which can otherwise feel like a difficult and lonely process if done alone, and provide support to help resolve matters as quickly and fairly as possible.

If you require advice or assistance with a Family matter of any kind, please contact our team, whose details can be found HERE. We can guide you through the process and be with you every step of the way.

Author Fauve Birch of Redkite Solicitors.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.