The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has announced that video hearings are soon to be made available in all Social Security and Child Support (SSCS) Tribunal regions.
In theory, first-tier tribunal judges already have the power to order a video hearing. In practice, the technology has yet to be rolled out.
But last week, in response to a written parliamentary question, the MoJ announced that:
“After a number of successful tests, arrangements are currently being made to introduce and make available Cloud Video Platform (CVP) hearings in all SSCS Tribunal regions. The decision as to how a hearing is conducted is a matter for the judge who will determine how best to uphold the interests of justice. In considering the suitability of video/audio, judges will consider issues such as the benefit type under appeal, the nature of the matters at stake during the hearing and any issues the use of video/audio technology may present for participants in the hearing.”
The DWP have published step-by-step guidance on How to join Cloud Video Platform (CVP) for a video hearing.
In practice, given the greater technical demands and scope for problems relating to video hearings, the vast majority of tribunals are likely to continue to be paper or telephone ones for the present. However, if there are reasons why a video hearing would give you better access to justice, then you should not hesitate to ask for one to be arranged.