HMCTS is bringing in a new video platform to enable all parties in a criminal hearing to take part remotely – allowing all magistrate and crown courts in England and Wales to hold secure hearings, making it easier to make sure justice continues to be served.
Most criminal cases are heard in magistrate courts and this technology – available for cases such as remand, custody time limit, and sentencing hearings – will help move people through the criminal justice system in these unprecedented times. This technology will not be used for jury trials, and a judge will decide whether it is appropriate to use in any other hearing on a case-by-case basis.
The Kinly Cloud Video Platform (CVP) is initially being rolled out to 60 magistrates’ courts and 48 crown courts currently open to the public, with others to follow as soon as possible. It is also being introduced to the Civil and Family courts. CVP connects securely to the existing justice video network which links police stations and prisons to courts, and can be accessed by any internet-enabled device with a camera and a microphone. Magistrates’ courts in London, the South-East, the South-West and the Midlands have already begun using CVP, with the first going live earlier this month. It has also been introduced in Crown Courts in Leeds, Sheffield, Newcastle and Hull, with more courts in the South-East set to go live. The aim is for 16 magistrates’ courts and nine crown courts to have access to CVP by the end of next week.