Recording of remote and hybrid court hearings

Paul Magrath made this Freedom of Information request to Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service

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The request was refused by Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service.

Dear Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service,

I am writing to request information about the recording of remote and hybrid court hearings. The request is made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Context:
In your guidance page, “HMCTS telephone and video hearings during coronavirus outbreak” [1] it states that:
"We are using a number of solutions to enable hearings to take place.
Teleconferencing
We have significantly increased the number of teleconferences we can run using BTMeetMe.
Videoconferencing
For video conferencing we have started using Skype for Business on HMCTS and judicial systems.
We have increased capacity, undertaken testing, and are now introducing our ‘cloud video platform’ (CVP) for hearings."

Please state:
1. Whether any statistical record is routinely kept of the the number of remote hearings that have taken place using
a. Teleconferencing
b. Videoconferencing

2. How many remote hearings have taken place during the months of April, May and June 2020 in
a. County Courts (including the Family Court)
b. The High Court (all divisions)
c. The Court of Appeal (both divisions)

3. Are remote hearings in all these courts routinely recorded?

4. How are recordings of remote hearings managed and stored?

5. How are recordings of videoconference hearings transcribed?

6. What approach is taken to the recording of hybrid hearings, ie partly remote, partly in person/court?

Yours faithfully,

Paul Magrath.

[1] https://www.gov.uk/guidance/hmcts-teleph...

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Weston, Bob (Gloucester), Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service

1 Attachment

Please find attached an acknowledgement of the above request

 

Bob Weston

 

Knowledge Information Liaison Officer

 

HMCTS - Analysis and Performance Division, Finance, Governance and
Performance Directorate.

 

Tel: 01452 334448 or 0203 3345511

 

E [1][email address]

 

1st Floor | Twyver House | Bruton Way | Gloucester | GL1 1PE

 

" I am not authorised to bind the Ministry of Justice contractually, nor
to make representation or other statements which may bind the Ministry of
Justice in any way via electronic means".

 

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Weston, Bob (Gloucester), Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service

1 Attachment

Please find attached a response to the above request

 

Bob Weston

 

Knowledge Information Liaison Officer

 

HMCTS - Analysis and Performance Division, Finance, Governance and
Performance Directorate.

 

Tel: 01452 334448 or 0203 3345511

 

E [1][email address]

 

1st Floor | Twyver House | Bruton Way | Gloucester | GL1 1PE

 

" I am not authorised to bind the Ministry of Justice contractually, nor
to make representation or other statements which may bind the Ministry of
Justice in any way via electronic means".

 

show quoted sections

Dear Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service's handling of my FOI request 'Recording of remote and hybrid court hearings'.

The answers given to questions 1 to 3 of my request seem inconsistent, in that you say, on the one hand, "we do not hold the information to answer your questions" and then go on to say that, in fact, you do hold the information but that it is either too soon to ask for it or prohibited by legislation. This is not very satisfactory, but since it appears some information will be available later in the year, I am content to wait.

In respect of the answers given to questions 4 to 6, you say they are in effect asking for advice and guidance. I dispute this. They are not asking for advice or guidance but for a policy or set of instructions which either are, or are not, in existence and being applied by your staff and/or outsourced to an external agency. If the data which are the subject of questions 1 to 3 are being collected, then that must be occurring under a policy or set of instructions which ought presumably to be in documentary form and ought, therefore, to be recorded or stored. That would appear to conform to the restriction you identify in section 84 of the FOIA.

I therefore request an internal review.
Yours faithfully,

Paul Magrath

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/r...

Yours faithfully,

Paul Magrath

NE RSU FOI & DPA, Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Magrath,
 
Please find attached the acknowledgment to your request for an internal
review.
 
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
Knowledge and Information Liaison Officer
 
North East Region
 
For information on how HMCTS uses personal data about you please see
[1]Here is how HMCTS uses personal data about you.
 
[2]https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-...
 
 
 
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NE RSU FOI & DPA, Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Magrath,
 
Please find attached the response to your request for an Internal Review
of FOI 200730004
 
 
Yours sincerely
 
K Smith
Knowledge and Information Liaison Officer
 
North East Region
 
For information on how HMCTS uses personal data about you please see
[1]Here is how HMCTS uses personal data about you.
 
[2]https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-...
 
 
 
  ________________________________  
This e-mail and any attachments is intended only for the attention of the
addressee(s). Its unauthorised use, disclosure, storage or copying is not
permitted. If you are not the intended recipient, please destroy all
copies and inform the sender by return e-mail. Internet e-mail is not a
secure medium. Any reply to this message could be intercepted and read by
someone else. Please bear that in mind when deciding whether to send
material in response to this message by e-mail. This e-mail (whether you
are the sender or the recipient) may be monitored, recorded and retained
by the Ministry of Justice. Monitoring / blocking software may be used,
and e-mail content may be read at any time. You have a responsibility to
ensure laws are not broken when composing or forwarding e-mails and their
contents.

References

Visible links
1. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...
2. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-...