No. 1 of 2000

Video Conferencing Guidelines

Guidelines for the use of video-conferencing in Magistrate Court proceedings have been issued recently.

The Guidelines have been developed and adopted jointly by the Magistrates Court of Tasmania and the Supreme Court of Tasmania; and will come into operation in both Courts on 1 February 2000.

The Guidelines contain the charging policy, operating procedures, booking procedures, contact personnel, and a sample monthly timetable for regular Court videolinks.

Video-conferencing facilities (including protected witness CCTV facilities) are now in operation at the following court buildings:

Magistrates Court # 1, Hobart

Magistrates Court # 2, Burnie

Magistrates Court # 1, Devonport (protected witness CCTV only)

Supreme Court # 7, Hobart

Supreme Court # 2, Launceston (for joint use by the Launceston Magistrates Court until early 2000)

Supreme Court, Burnie

Facilities are also now in operation at:

Risdon Prison (H Division)

Hobart Remand Centre

Ashley Detention Centre, Deloraine

By March 2000, video-conferencing facilities will also be installed in the following court buildings:

Magistrates Court # 1, Launceston

Magistrates Court # 2, Devonport

Magistrates Court # 4, Hobart (replacing Court # 1, Hobart)

Supreme Court # 1, Hobart

The Guidelines will be reviewed and amended when videolink facilities are installed / upgraded in the Hobart, Launceston and Devonport Magistrates Courts, and the Hobart Supreme Court (Civil) in early 2000. Any teething problems arising from more regular usage of videolink facilities can be addressed in the next version of the Guidelines.

The current version of the Video-conferencing Guidelines will always be available at the following web-sites:

www.courts.tas.gov.au/magistrate/

and

www.courts.tas.gov.au/supreme/

The videolink facilities are available for use in both criminal and civil proceedings upon application to the Court. However, please note that all remands of persons in custody will be conducted by videolink unless otherwise ordered by the Court.

The Charging Policy is based on the premise that the party who benefits from the use of the videolink technology should bear the cost of the videolink transmission. This will be achieved by the Court initiating the videolink call and subsequently issuing an invoice to the party responsible for payment.

Demonstrations of the video-conferencing facilities and protected witness facilities will be arranged in each of the Court centres in early 2000 for those who are interested. Please contact your local Court Video-conferencing Co-ordinator (listed on pages 13 and 14 of the Guidelines) to arrange a demonstration.

Jim Connolly
Administrator of Courts
15 January 2000