This is intended to clarify the Judicial Office message on Friday in order to address concerns which have been expressed.
As explained, the Coronavirus legislation and Criminal Procedure Rules provide that live link directions are required in respect of each case where a party wishes to participate remotely and the court is required to give an opportunity to other parties to make representations in respect of any live link application.
- It is not intended that the prosecution and defence will now, without warning, be required to come to court when they had been expecting to appear remotely.
- Representatives expecting to appear remotely may make their application for a live direction at the beginning of the hearing as the live link opens explaining briefly the reasons.
- The court will rule at the outset on the live link application applying the broad “interests of justice” test (having allowed any other parties to make representations).
- Where the court list indicates the hearing will be “by live link” this will be a strong indication that a live link direction will be made and in cases, such as e.g. first appearance in remand hearings, the making of live link directions will continue to be routine.