The court already streams some hearings live but they are not recorded. The court judgements on YouTube will remain there to be viewed indefinitely. It might not be thrilling entertainment but it allows the public to get a glimpse of the courts in action.
As a college student many years ago, I spent some spare time in the public galleries in the Crown Court and Magistrates Courts, observing a few days worth of activity. It was a great insight on how the courts work, how busy they are and what types of matters they deal with.
These were criminal matters but I could just have easily watched a civil trial. If you are going to trial yourself, it might help take away nerves or uncertainty over what to expect, if in advance you go and watch a few hours of proceedings in your local county court. You should check with the court usher before going in a hearing room, as some civil claims, in particular family matters, must take place in private, which the public are not allowed to observe. Some judges also do not like the public coming in and out as hearings are already going on. I can highly recommend having a look round the new Civil Justice Centre in Manchester.
The courts continue to embrace technology, including:
- – Issuing claims online
- – Enabling the filing documents at court by email
- – Allowing shorter hearings to take place over the telephone, rather than attending court in person
- – Judges typing up court judgements in the hearings for the parties to take away