- Stuart SimeStuart SimeAssociate Dean and Head of Department, The City Law School, City, University of London
Traditionally, civil hearings take place in court buildings, with hearings being conducted in public in court rooms in front of a judge. Active case management in accordance with the overriding objective includes dealing with cases without the parties needing to attend court, and by making use of technology (CPR, r 1.4(2)(j) and (k)). There is provision in the CPR for holding hearings by telephone, by video, or by any other means which permits simultaneous communication (r 39.1(1)(a)), and for receiving evidence by telephone or by using any other method of direct oral communication (r 3.1(2)(d)). Increased public proficiency with information technology, combined with the emergency created by the coronavirus outbreak in 2020, have resulted in the courts embracing computer technology for remote hearings for civil proceedings.