Justice and Safety

Video conference across borders with justice partners

May 26, 2016 by No Comments | Category Justice

panel141Associate partner Scottish Government recently hosted a meeting of the EU initiative to improve cross-border videoconferencing (VC) in the justice system, also known as project ‘Handshake’.

The meeting, held in Edinburgh, included participants in person from seven foreign jurisdictions (Austria, Spain, Croatia, Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, and England and Wales) with others attending, appropriately given the subject-matter, via VC.

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service were also represented.

The main business was to discuss three of the project’s workstreams, to:

• identify which cases would benefit most from increased or better use of cross-border VC
• develop an improved step-by-step description with instructions for typical cross-border VC cases, including the required judicial, organisational and technical elements
• perform practical testing of VC connections between multiple pairs of member states in different configurations.

Justice_Logo_RGB_Tagline-e1464261029756Interpreters and translators will of course be a key part of the VC process, and their role was also discussed.

It is clear that there are differences in approach throughout member states which will need to be addressed, such as how those participating in court proceedings are identified. For example, a system where a witness or accused person is identified by producing their state-issued identity card, cannot apply to those resident in the United Kingdom.

As the project continues, guidance, recommended technical standards and protocols will be put in place for cross-border use of VC. We welcome questions or comments at any stage.

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