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 UK Central Authority (UKCA) based at the Home Office is the central authority for receiving videoconferencing hearing requests in criminal matters. Information on how to a make request for videoconferencing facilities in the UK can be found under the heading ‘Hearings via Video or Telephone Conference’ on the Home Office's guidelines on requests for mutual legal assistance in criminal matters.
If a request is accepted, the UKCA nominates a relevant court (based on location of the witness). 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.
More information on Taking of Evidence can be found here in the e-Justice portal under European Judicial Atlas in Civil matters. There are 1,800 video links operational in the courts across England and Wales, mostly in the criminal courts but there is also some availability in the civil courts. 500 of these are witness rooms suitable for giving evidence from.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 Scottish Government, Civil Law and Legal System Division, St Andrew's House (GW15), Regent Road, Edinburgh EH1 3DG (e-mail: email@example.com).
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: 01/11/2016