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People taking part in hearings are warned that they must behave in their own home as if they were in a court room, as 85% of all court hearings move to video and audio.

Figures released by HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) this week show that:

  • On 6 April 2020 around 85% of cases heard in England and Wales used audio and video technology
  • Between 19 March and 6 April 2020, courts and tribunals reported that the use audio in hearings increased from around 100 to around 1850
  • Between 19 March and 6 April 2020, courts and tribunals reported that the use video in hearings increased from around 150 to around 1100

Guidance issued by HMCTS on joining a video or telephone hearing warns appellants that during a hearing, even though they are in their own home, they must follow the same rules as if they were in a court room, including:

  • only drink water
  • no eating
  • no smoking or e-cigarettes
  • make sure the view behind you is blank or neutral
  • If you need to move away from your screen or phone during the hearing, ask permission.
  • If you need to have someone with you who is not a legal representative, you must ask the court’s permission.

Appellants are also warned that: “It’s a criminal offence to record or publish any court hearing without authorisation.”

You can find guidance on taking part in telephone and video hearings here.

You can read the full figures on video and audio hearings here.

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