Many courts in Member States are now equipped with videoconferencing facilities in the courtroom or in special hearing rooms for witnesses and experts.
To make it easier for judges, prosecutors and court staff to find the practical information they need to conduct a hearing by videoconference in cross-border proceedings, the Member States' Justice Ministries have provided details on the location and type of videoconferencing facilities available in courts. That information is given below. No details are given of equipment installed in ministries or prisons.
Some Member States have provided further information.
No courts are currently equipped with videoconferencing facilities. The details will be updated once the ongoing investment project has been completed.
The attached document gives detailed information on courts with facilities and the type of equipment in place. It is the Ministry of Justice, however, that is responsible for organising international judicial cooperation. Courts must not be contacted directly in this respect.
All legal assistance requests to hear parties by videoconference must be sent to:
Ministry of Justice, International Judicial Cooperation Division,
Ms Astrid Laurendt-Hanioja, Head of Unit,
Address: Tõnismägi 5a, 15191 Tallinn; tel.: +372 6208 190; fax: +372 6208 109;
e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org.
In criminal cases, requests for judicial cooperation in hearing a person present in Ireland by videoconference must be addressed to:
The Central Authority for Mutual Assistance, Department of Justice and Equality and Law Reform, Block C, Floor 3, Harcourt Street, Dublin 2. Telephone: + 353 1 4086143 or 4086101 or 4086108
Hungarian courts are not equipped with videoconferencing facilities, but equipment is hired where necessary.
Lithuanian courts are not currently equipped with videoconferencing facilities.
Since 1st May, 2011 several bodies involved in judiciary proceeding in Slovenia have been using videoconference systems:
- 11 district courtrooms
- 11 social services centres
- Dob pri Mirni prison
- the police.
Three mobile videoconferencing devices are available for videoconferences in courts or social services centres which don't yet have a system installed.
Slovenia is systematically included videoconferencing systems in all the projects it is implementing between 2009–2013.This means the projects qualified for 85% financing from the European Social Fund.
Videoconference systems are an important asset for the Slovenian justice system. They facilitate questioning of witnesses, experts, children, hospitalised patients, residents of care homes for the elderly, prisoners and other distance hearings. They are especially advantageous for cross-border cases, allowing parties living abroad to participate in the court proceedings much more easily. Instead of having to travel to Slovenia they can make a statement or be heard through a videoconference link.
The administration of videoconferencing facilities in the UK is decentralised, so there is no national point of contact for reserving equipment. However, cross-border videoconferencing requests must be addressed to the following organisations before any contact with the court concerned.
In England and Wales the Mutual Legal Assistance Section of the Home Office's Judicial Cooperation Unit is the central authority for videoconferencing requests in criminal matters. It delegates the organisation to the location concerned. In civil matters, the Senior Master of the Queen's Bench Division and Queen's Remembrancer is the judge in the Royal Courts of Justice who receives all cross-border videoconferencing requests before referring the matter to the relevant court.
In Scotland videoconferencing requests in criminal matters must be addressed to the International Cooperation Unit of the Crown Office in Edinburgh. In civil matters, requests should be addressed to the Civil Law Division, DG Justice and Communities, St Andrew's House, Edinburgh.
In Northern Ireland requests in criminal matters must be addressed to the same central authority as for England and Wales (see above). In civil matters, requests must be addressed to the High Court Civil and Criminal Division in Belfast.
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Last update: 10/03/2014