At the Four Courts this morning as Chief Justice Frank Clarke (screens) speaks during the first remote sitting of the Supreme Court with Media Relations Officer Gerry Curran, far left, and Irish Times journalist Mary Carolan, right
The Court Service of Ireland writez:
Today for the first time ever, the courts in Ireland sat with all parties being present in court via remote video technology.
These Virtual Courtrooms will add to the other social distancing measures introduced by the courts in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Both the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal heard matters in individual cases via judges, practitioners and parties appearing via video from remote locations.
The cases were displayed on video screens in largely empty courts for members of the media present.
In the near future, reporters will be able to access cases remotely via secure and password protected links – acting as the eyes and ears of the public.
The courts will roll-out the technology in suitable cases in the coming days and weeks.
Other initiatives to organise future court hearings via extended social distancing planning will continue and expand in the coming weeks.
In a statement delivered in court via remote link, The Chief Justice, Frank Clarke emphasised that modernisation of processes was also taking place, in tandem with the use of technology.
He said that a new practice direction provided for new ways of clarifying matters in cases – in advance – so as to allow for a change in how the court and counsel interact via technology.
He indicated that this would aid the use of technology by proving for less interjection for clarification purposes during the hearings.