Analysis of Video Conferencing (Part 3)

Analysis of Video Conferencing (Part 3)

47B  Appearances or submissions by video link, audio link or other appropriate means

(1)  The Court or a Judge may, for the purposes of any proceeding, direct or allow a person:

(a)  to appear before the Court or the Judge; or

(b)  to make a submission to the Court or the Judge;

by way of video link, audio link or other appropriate means.

Note:      See also section 47C.

 (2)  The power conferred on the Court or a Judge by subsection (1) may be exercised:

(a)  on the application of a party to the proceedings; or

(b)  on the Court’s or Judge’s own initiative.

(3)  This section applies whether the person appearing or making the submission is in or outside Australia, but does not apply if the person appearing or making the submission is in New Zealand.

Canada

– Check the current status

As per the order issued by the chief justice of Ontario; notwithstanding provisions in the Rules of Civil Procedure and the Family Law Rules, it is not necessary to obtain consent, or a court order, for a hearing to proceed by virtual means.

Guidelines 

The Superior Court of Justice in Ontario has issued guidelines for ‘Guidelines on Access to Hearings During the COVID-19 Pandemic’

The Advocates Society Paperless Trials Manual, the Manual’s focus is on ways of making trials paperless, other aspects of fully electronic trials (e.g. use of real time transcription; witness testimony via videoconference) are beyond the Manual’s scope but should be investigated by interested parties.

United Kingdom

England and Wales https://rm.coe.int/ceeli-institute-the-use-of-video-conferencing-in-courts-by-mr-stephen-/16809f2785 

The legal basis for video conferencing in courts in England and Wales Policing and Crime Act 2017, section 74 (regarding live links) Coronavirus Act 2020, sections 53 – 57; Schedules 25, 26, 27 Makes a range of modifications to courts and tribunal practice to permit and facilitate remote working in circumstances that would usually require physical attendance. Sections 53 to 56 make provision specifically in relation to the operation of courts and tribunals. Sections 53 – 56 provide for an expansion of the use of live links in criminal proceedings and, in relation to civil proceedings, for public participation in proceedings conducted remotely by video or audio. Schedule 25 provides detailed amendments to the Courts Act 2003 to enable the public to see and hear proceedings conducted wholly as audio or video proceedings and to regulate the recording of those proceedings. Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020, S.I. No. 350.

Participation by persons outside the United Kingdom

5 (1) A direction under paragraph 2 may be given in respect of a person whether the person is in the United Kingdom or elsewhere.

(2) A statement made on oath by a person outside the United Kingdom and given in evidence through a live link in accordance with a direction under paragraph 2 is to be treated for the purposes of Article 3 of the Perjury (Northern Ireland) Order 1979 (S.I. 1979/1714 (N.I. 19)) as having been made in the proceedings in which it is given in evidence.

CIVIL JUSTICE IN ENGLAND and WALES PROTOCOL REGARDING REMOTE HEARINGS 

Case Law

Blackfriars Ltd, Re [2020] EWHC 845 (Ch) 

High Courts allowing trial via video conferencing in India

 

S no.StateRules
Allahabadhttp://www.allahabadhighcourt.in/event/event_7403_11-04-2020.pdf 
Andhra Pradeshhttps://districts.ecourts.gov.in/sites/default/files/E-FILING%20AND%20VIDEO%20CONFERENCING%20GUIDELINES%20FOR%20THE%20SUBORDINATE%20COURTS%20IN%20THE%20STATE%20OF%20ANDHRA%20PRADESH.pdf 
Chattisgarhhttps://highcourt.cg.gov.in/rule/2020/vc_rule2020.pdf 
Delhi http://delhihighcourt.nic.in/writereaddata/Upload/PublicNotices/PublicNotice_CQ84SWB5.PDF 
Guwahatihttps://ghconline.gov.in/index.php/notification-dated-18-05-2020-regarding-gauhati-high-court-rules-for-video-conferencing-for-courts/ 
Himachal Pradeshhttps://hphighcourt.nic.in/pdf/VC%20_Guidelines_HP_HC.pdf 
Jharkhandhttps://www.jharkhandhighcourt.nic.in/sites/default/files/FinalRulesVideoCOnferencing_15062020.pdf 
Kerala https://indiankanoon.org/search/?formInput=recording%20evidence%20by%20video%20conferencing+doctypes:kerala 
Madhya Pradesh https://www.indialegallive.com/constitutional-law-news/courts-news/madhya-pradesh-high-court-issued-guidelines-for-video-conferencing-and-e-filing-in-view-of-exigency-caused-by-covid-19/#:~:text=Video%2DConferencing%3A&text=The%20link%20provided%20by%20the,the%20matter%20may%20be%20adjourned
Madrashttp://www.hcmadras.tn.nic.in/rules.html 
Manipurhttps://hcmimphal.nic.in/Documents/Guidelines%20for%20email%20filing%20and%20VC%20for%20HC%20and%20DC%20of%20Manipur%20during%20Covid-19.pdf 
Meghalayahttps://www.indialegallive.com/top-news-of-the-day/news/meghalaya-hc-issues-guidelines-e-filling-video-conferencing-covid-19-lockdown2/#:~:text=The%20participants%20shall%20refrain%20from,shall%20intervene%20in%20the%20proceedings
Orissahttps://www.orissahighcourt.nic.in/CorrectedNOTICE.pdf 
Patnahttp://patnahighcourt.gov.in/techcorona.aspx 
Rajasthanhttps://hcraj.nic.in/hcraj/hcraj_admin/uploadfile/latestupdates/notification23102060.pdf 
Sikkimhttps://districts.ecourts.gov.in/rules-video-conferencing-court2020 
Telanganahttps://tshc.gov.in/documents/admin_17_2020_10_27_13_24_46.pdf 
Tripurahttps://thc.nic.in/pdfs/video%20conferencing%20rules.pdf 
Uttrakhandhttps://highcourtofuttarakhand.gov.in/upload/contents/File-737.pdf 

 

High Courts not yet Acquainted with the process of video conferencing as on 16-06-2021

S no.State
Bombay
Calcutta
Jammu & Kashmir
Punjab & Haryana
Karnataka

 

Conclusion

In the present day and age where there is in fact an inevitable dependence on technology, there is a need for development of laws in a way so as to enable a more fluent transition to online mode. Recording of evidence through video conferencing, with proper law and procedure in place, will make the process more time and cost efficient. Further, it’ll become easier to record expert evidence. Supreme Court and various High Courts have repeatedly availed the aid of technology whenever the need and its possibility have coincided, hence a clear and elaborate rules and procedure for such processes is the need of the hour.

 

Written by – Prakhar Suryavanshi

Edited By – Aaditya Bhatt Advocate, Chandni Joshi Advocate