Remote courts to be piloted this month in response to pandemic
Remote court hearings will be piloted in Ireland for the first time later this month in order to maintain the operation of the justice system during the coronavirus pandemic.
In a joint statement, Chief Justice Frank Clarke and the presidents of the court jurisdictions said a “considerable amount of work has been done” on facilitating remote hearings “which nonetheless comply with the constitutional obligation that justice be administered in public”.
A pilot may take place “close to the beginning of the new legal term” on 20 April, and could be quickly rolled out further to accommodate ongoing restrictions linked to COVID-19.
The remote court hearings will build on the already extensive use of technology to deal with court administrative matters since the start of social distancing measures.
The courts have also already seen a significant extension of the use of video-link in criminal and bail proceedings, assisted by the prison service and gardaí.