Courts Minister Chester Borrows has announced Oamaru will be the first place in New Zealand to trail Skype in Family Court hearings.
Oamaru has been without a permanent courthouse since November when the building was deemed an earthquake risk, and Mr Borrows said while temporary alternative locations were being sought, audio visual technology would be trialled with a sitting Family Court judge on August 14.
Existing audio visual platforms, such as Skype, were reliable and efficient enough for use in court, he said, adding that the idea also had backing from legal professionals in the town.
Following the trial run, a larger six-month trial, which would take place in Family Court proceedings from Oamaru south, would occur in September, Mr Borrows said.
This will save time and money for lawyers and their clients.
Skype works well for interviews and meetings, there’s no reason it shouldn’t work as well for court.