If you are going to be in a court or tribunal hearing in the next few months, it is possible that it will be held over the Cloud Video Platform. This is particularly likely if it is not too complex, maybe with a hearing for a day or less and with just a few issues for the judge to decide. This is part of the arrangements being put in place to enable hearings to go ahead during the ongoing pandemic, so that the courts and tribunals system can continue to operate.
If you are involved in a hearing that is not being conducted using this platform, you will be given instructions about social distancing, sending paperwork to the Tribunal electronically, taking your own papers to refer to, wearing face coverings (except when giving witness evidence), and using hand sanitisers or wearing gloves.
What is the Cloud Video Platform?
The Cloud Video Platform (CVP) apparently works if everyone taking part has a computer or laptop and broadband that enables them to take part in a video call. Sounds quite simple. It’s accessible by an internet-enabled device with a camera and a microphone, although a mobile phone is not ideal as the screen size might make it difficult to stay focused and engaged for a number of hours.
It is being used (or will be used) in all Crown Courts and Tribunals in England and Wales. It connects securely to the existing justice video network, which links police stations and prisons to courts. It will also be rolled out to magistrates’ courts, and to civil and family courts in the future. Some might be using it already, but not all of them yet.
What type of case might be heard over CVP?
In the Employment Tribunal, the types of cases that are being arranged to be heard over CVP are the simpler end of things that only last a day or two. Usually, the hearings in employment tribunals are lengthy and some can last for a week or two, so the CVP may be of limited use for tribunals. Nonetheless, it may help to reduce the backlog of cases that is steadily building up.
How do you find out more?
If you are going into a CVP hearing, there is guidance on how to join the platform here
If you would like advice on an employment tribunal matter, give us a call and we will do our best to help.
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