Supreme Court Online
The first news relates to the introduction of the online video of Supreme Court hearings. Recordings of hearings will be available to view online the next day and will remain available for a year.
We aren’t sure exactly who it is going to be of interest to, other than the parties involved in the case. Perhaps students, academics and those inquisitive about what goes on might look at what goes on. It is unlikely to threaten Netflix any time soon.
The second news item is the proposed roll out of wi-fi in the courts.
The government has stated it plans to have wi-fi available at all courts by October 2015, which is in advance of the original completion date of 2016. Whether this happens remains to be seen, especially if the intention of the government may be to close courts in an effort to create costs savings. All courts having wi-fi by October 2015 sounds optimistic and we anticipate some courts will be easier to install equipment than others.
The courts are criticised for lagging behind and it is hoped the addition of wi-fi and improved computer systems will assist with more flexible and efficient hearings, including the increased use of remote evidence and better access to documents. Whether free and open wi-fi is secure, is not an issue we are experts on but we anticipate the increased use of modern technology, especially in the hands of technophobic Judges, is likely to create some teething problems. Some Judges embrace new technology (even typing up orders there and then in court) whereas some still think the ball point pen is cutting edge.
Any court technology and investment in the legal system is to be encouraged, if it makes the system more effective and cost effective.