An indication here that this is being considered, including in the Business & Property Courts (where we litigate frequently). The warning here is about the risk of loss of the formality and decorum associated with the Court room. Anecdotes of innocent mishaps (and cats!) while the profession familiarised itself with the process and technology will have raised a smile in dark times; but this note of caution has got to be right.
Like many (all?) litigators, I value my time in Court. The early starts, coffee on trains, cab dashes, meeting clients & advocates and, most importantly, that time spent in the Court room. A reminder to self why I do what I do and the importance of doing it well. For me, it's what being a lawyer is all about and I miss it.
However, while not suitable in every case, remote hearings have proved capable of being highly effective/efficient in many instances, with the potential to bring litigation costs down. Which can only be a good thing for clients. So while the Court room experience is not one that I'd want to lose entirely (and I don't think for a moment we will) I can certainly see a future role for remote hearings. We all just need to get familiar with the technology, remember where we are (in Court) and maintain the highest standards of professional behaviour at all times, as if we had caught that train...
Sir Julian Flaux said the profession needs to ‘guard against unintended consequences of informality’ as it considers whether to adopt remote hearings permanently.