URGENT: correction of oral EXAM #LawStudies

  • 178
  • 22
  • 4
  • English 
Jun 12, 2018 07:37 #virtual #courtCase #oral #EXAM #LawStudies
Hi my friends, this 18 June I have ten minutes of oral exam (for my law studies) during which I will be questioned on two legal texts (you will find the second in my last articles). I should summarize this text: https://www.theguardian.com/law/2018/mar/26/first-virtual-court-case-held-using-claimant-laptop-camera
in minimal 3 minutes and then give my personal opinion on this article.

My summary: I will talk about the first virtual court case. The case is a appeal about HMRC(Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs)-imposed fines for allegedly filing late tax returns. The claimant is a company director who was challenging £1,200 worth of tax fines, had volunteered for his case to be heard online. He told during the hearing that penalty notices sent by HMRC had not initially not reached him. He told that he would be happy to pay £100 for each of the missed submissions but not the full accumulated fine.

During the hearing, he and his lawyers were in Belfast and the judge was in a London tribunal. The trial was initiated (or started?) by a 60-second countdown clock on screen by the court clerk (at a tribunal hearings centre : important or not?) in London. The claimant appearing via a home laptop camera. Before that, there was a preliminilary phone conversation to give rules to use the technology. Everybody has to behave like in a courthouse. No food or drinks (exept water) are allowed. A friend or lawyer may sit beside the claimants but must be identified to the judge. Judges can open up to four simultaneous windows on the shared courtroom screen, permitting others to join the proceedings from different locations. Finally, there is a constraint: the prohibition to record the hearing.

The hearing lasted two hours, including several pauses, which was longer than scheduled. The problems encountered during the hearing are a vocal distortion and the screen faded to black. There is also the risk of children bursting. For exemple, a famous professor was distracted in the middle of a TV interview.

Fortunately, there are a lot of general benefits of of using technology. First, it provides a justice more accessible to the public and allowed savings by closing down underused courthouses. Then, there is significant point in a Ministry of Justice modernisation programme.

Here is my personal opinion: In my opinion, it's usefull to save unwanted legal costs! The modern technology has serious advantages such as saving money and time in the transportation of defendants to and from prisons for administrative hearings. Opposite, I think that face-to-face contact is essential to build trust and develop relationships. Also, the defendants may not feel comfortable doing so to a stranger over a video link. This case may therefore reduce the defendant's chances of success.