News + Views

Online Courts Project Update

The Online Courts project is currently in a critical phase of its research, involving direct engagement with people who have had experiences of online, phone and/or hybrid court hearings in jurisdictions across Victoria in or since 2023. 

The project team has been conducting interviews (both in person and via videoconferencing) with court users who have had experiences of these hearings at Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, the County Court, the Supreme Court, and the Magistrates Court. The project team is also engaging with people in custodial facilities across the state, to hear about their experiences of remote court hearings.  

These interviews are highlighting the variation in experiences that court users can have when accessing and participating in remote court hearings. They are also confirming the project’s earlier findings, being that, while the format offers many benefits, such as flexibility and convenience, it can also present challenges, such as the ability of parties to participate meaningfully and engage with the hearing and legal process more broadly. 

In parallel to this engagement, the project team will also be commencing observations of remote court hearings in jurisdictions across Victoria, as well as an analysis of relevant quantitative court data around their use. The project team looks forward to continuing this stage of data collection until mid-August and delivering a final report and recommendations to Court Services Victoria towards the end of the year. 

This project was recently featured in the Law Institute Journal