The process for AVL use in criminal procedural matters has been changed by the Courts (Remote Participation) Amendment Act 2016, which came into effect on 1 March 2017.
The amendments to the Courts (Remote Participation) Act 2010 included replacement of section 8.
This now states that AVL must be used for the appearance of a participant in a criminal procedural matter "if AVL is available and the participant is in custody, unless a judicial officer or a Registrar determines that the use of AVL is contrary to the interests of justice".
Section 3 of the Act says "criminal procedural matter" means "any matter, in a criminal proceeding, in respect of which no evidence is to be called."
Effectively the replaced section 8 has introduced a new presumption that a participant who is held in custody will appear via AVL for most pre-trial hearings. The Ministry of Justice and Department of Corrections have altered their processes in response to this presumption and, unless contrary direction is available, arrangements by default will be made to support a participant's appearance via AVL and not in person.