Since the emergence of covid-19 pandemic, almost every access in closed buildings has been limited to a certain number of people to reduce the spread of covid 19. Since then, virtual hearings have been widely used in the court as it is easy to be done. But not so many people have heard about this as not everyone knows about the court or even attends it. Virtual hearings or audio-visual means the cases of the court are progressed through phone or video conferences, instead of the in-person hearings in the court. This means people involved in the cases do not need to attend the Court.
The implementation of virtual hearings really helps the court as the cases will not be delayed. Just imagine if the cases need to be delayed again and again just because people who were involved in that case get covid-19, and this thing keeps repeatedly happening for every meeting court. There were also some cases that needed to do hybrid virtual hearings in which some attend via virtual hearings, and the rest attend the court. This is to limit the number of people in the court, and it also can be done if there are people who cannot attend because of covid 19 or other bad situations.
However, not all virtual hearings will go perfect as there were times when there were problems with the sound and the connection to the internet, and there were also times when these hearings were not possible because sides did not have the access, causing the cases to be postponed.
Tips for All Hearing participants
- Determine beforehand which device you will use to attend the hearing (computer, smartphone, or tablet). Ensure that your device’s camera and speakers are fully functional by trying to use it a few hours before the hearings.
- Reduce as much background noise as you can, as well as any other potential distractions.You need to mute your microphone whenever you are not using it. In order to avoid sounds and notifications from the device that you are using, you should either put your phone on silent or close any other windows that are open on your computer screen. Doing so may also help the programme run more smoothly.
- Take into consideration any restrictions on the confidentiality of the information. If you want to keep the content of your conversations private, you should make sure that no one is around you.
- During the hearing, you need to speak slowly and distinctly. It is possible that there will be a delay in your audio because of the internet connection or the microphone; therefore, you should take a moment both before and after you speak.
The COVID-19 pandemic crisis is something that the courts are not simply suffering through; rather, many of them are embracing the technologies and processes that are generally used in other sectors, both public and private. Courts are able to carry out their operations despite the difficult situations, and they are discovering that virtual processes are not only workable, but also has become increasingly advantageous.