New Zealand Law Society - Family Courts to use video-conferencing

Family Courts to use video-conferencing

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Family Court judges in Northland and Southland/Central Otago are to use video-conferencing in procedural events such as judicial conferences or directions conferences.

The Whangarei District Court will connect with the Kaitaia and Kaikohe District Courts and the Invercargill District Court with the Queenstown District Court in the new initiative.

Justice Minister Amy Adams says the objective is to reduce the number of judicial and court users travelling to "remote locations" for short fixtures and to reduce adjournments associated with poor weather.

She says it builds on earlier trials of video-conferencing in the Family Court in 2013/14, and leverages recent upgrades to video-conferencing technology which provide a more reliable and cost efficient service nationwide.

"I'm firmly focused on ensuring the court process is as easy and accessible as possible for everyone. The services provided to court users – including victims – must be faster and more consistent, and rely less on paper and buildings," Ms Adams says. 

"This demonstrates a concerted effort by both the Ministry of Justice and judiciary to make use of the latest technology to make our courts more efficient across New Zealand."

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