Thursday, 16 February 2012

Skype enters the courtoom - a guide

The free technology which allows 2 parties to talk to each other as well as see each other has entered the employment tribunal for the first time according to 'Lovells'.

Rule 15(2) of the Employment Tribunals Rules of Procedure 2009 says that proceedings may utilize 'electronic communications' if it is considered 'just and equitable' to do so. Perhaps when this rule was introduced it wasn't clear that Skype was to be used by more and more of us.

In the ELA briefing this month Sarah Lovell of Lovell's Solicitors describes the first use of this technology in the tribunal I have heard of.

The case was part way through an unfair dismissal and race discrimination claim which went apart heard in April 2011. One of the respondent's witnesses had given evidence and was halfway through cross-examination when the case was adjourned. In the intervening period, the witness had left the UK and emigrated to Turkey and was unable to return on relevant dates. Video conferencing was not an option as the witness did not live in one of the only places in Turkey where it is available. The obvious choice was Skype

The tribunal considered the application to allow Skype on the morning of the hearing. It had regard to the overriding objective and the waste of tribunal time which would have occurred if the hearing had been adjourned. There was no Wi-Fi at the tribunal and so a room was hired in a local hotel with an Internet connection.

Another point to remember is that the hearing must be 'in a public place' and so a sign should be added to the outside of the conference room door.

Rule 15(2) says :

'It must be in a public place to which the public has access and using equipment s that when oral evidence is given the public is able to see and hear all the parties to the communication'.

Barring a poor connection Skype could be the answer where video conferencing is unavailable.

3 comments: said...

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ghadia oscar said...

According to this blog there is no security issues to be afraid of or taken as an excuse to refuse the Skype instead to paying hundreds of pounds for long plan hearings.

رضا رمضان said...

شركتنا من المتميزون في اعمال الاصلاح بدون هدم او تكسير من خلال شركة ركن البيت التي تقدم الكثير والكثير في عمل اللازم وتصحيح الاخطاء التي تسببها تسريبات المياه فنحن مثلا

شركة كشف تسربات المياه بجدة تقدم خدمة لعمل الاصلاح بدون اي خراب ونقدم النصيحة للعملاء بالابتعاد عن الاعمال التي تؤدي الي هذا الخراب فتعاملك مع شركة كشف تسربات بجدة لديها الخبرة الكافية تساعدك في الحفاظ علي منزلك كما اننا نتمكن في اننا سوف نرتقي بخدمة لاننا نقوم بالعمل السليم لها كما يوجد لدينا خدمات العوازل التي تمنع التسريبات من الاسقف لكم والحوائط والخزانات من خلال شركة تسمي الاولي في مجالها لذلك نحن نقدم شركة عزل خزانات بالرياض التي تعتبر في عل الخزانات الارضية من الداخل بواسطة مواد متميزة كما نقدم لكم شركة عزل اسطح بالرياض لعمل العوازل التي تمنع جميع التسريبات في الاسقف