Supreme Court of NSW
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Video and Telephone Conferences in civil proceedings



Overview

The Supreme Court provides the facilities for the delivery of both telephone and video conferencing services in Civil proceedings.
  • Video Conferences: These are available in many but not all courtrooms at the Supreme Court. The current video conference service is delivered by ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) offering a high quality secure and reliable audio-visual link.
  • Telephone Conferences: These can be facilitated in all courtrooms using either the in-court technology or a portable Polycom phone device.

Requesting a Telephone Conference
  1. Parties to complete an Application for Telephone/Video Link form that will be returnable before a judge of the court who will decide whether to issue an Order Approving Telephone/Video Link.
  2. If an order is obtained from a judge, the party or organisation requesting the telephone conference is then required to complete a Telephone Conference Booking Form and pay any booking fees that may apply (i.e. international calls)
  3. The order approving the telephone conference must be annexed to the completed Telephone Conference Booking Form and filed in the registry (together with any booking fee) prior to the conference taking place. Parties will be invoiced for any additional call charges (international calls only) following the completion of the conference.
  4. Parties are requested to attend the courtroom where the conference will take place 15-20 minutes prior to the commencement time to enable the court officer to: (a) test the reception; and (b) confirm participant details at the remote location.
  5. Following the completion of the conference, the court will seek payment (an invoice will be issued) for additional call charges associated with international calls (note: no charges will apply for domestic telephone conferences).


Requesting a Video Conference
  1. Parties to complete an Application for Telephone/Video Link form that will be returnable before a judge of the court who will decide whether to issue an Order Approving Telephone/Video Link.
  2. If an order is obtained from a judge, the party or organisation requesting the Video Conference link is required to complete a Video Conference Booking Form and pay a (non-refundable) booking fee.
  3. The order approving the video link must be annexed to the completed Video Conference Booking Form and filed in the registry (together with the booking fee) prior to the conference taking place. Parties will be invoiced for additional call charges following the completion of the conference.


Responsibilities of parties in a Video Conference
  1. It is the responsibility of the party or organisation requesting the video conference to coordinate the booking of the remote site and notify all participants of details of the conference, such as venue, commencement time, duration and other relevant requirements or duties. Parties will need to take into account possible time changes in both the overseas country and Australia.
  2. Parties are requested to attend the courtroom where the conference will take place 15-20 minutes prior to the commencement to enable the court officer to: (a) test the reception; and (b) confirm participant details at the remote location.
  3. Where the video conference relates to the taking of evidence in a court hearing, the party or organisation requesting the link is to ensure that a Bible or alternative (e.g. Koran) is available at the remote video conference site for the swearing in of participants / witnesses and interpreters.
  4. It is the responsibility of the parties to ensure that consideration is given to the requirements in particular countries that any oath or affirmation to be taken by a witness accords with local custom, and not the usual form of oath or affirmation taken in Australia.
  5. The parties must also consider who needs to be in attendance with the witness (e.g. an official from a local court, another person acceptable to the Court or no one). It may be advantageous for the parties to consider the participation of another person in attendance with the witness, as this person could perform activities such as administering the oath or affirmation (if authorised to do so) and ensuring that the witness does not receive any unauthorised assistance.
  6. Parties should ensure that the remote witness is briefed beforehand on the courtroom practices, for example, taking an oath or affirmation (which would normally be administered in the Court room) and not responding until directed to do so by the judicial officer when an objection is taken.
  7. A document image camera is available for viewing images (e.g. documents and x-rays). It is preferable if the order of documents to be shown to the witness is settled and made available to the court officer prior to the transmission.
The Video Conference - what happens?
  1. Parties should arrive 15-20 minutes prior to the commencement of the video conference to be available when the court officer makes an initial call to confirm the availability of the remote site.
  2. The person appearing via the video conference is to be informed before the live transmission commences of the names of the judicial officer and counsel involved.
  3. The examination of the witness at the remote location will follow as closely as possible the practice that would have taken place if that witness were in the courtroom. During examination, cross-examination and re-examination, the witness will see counsel asking the question and those present in the courtroom will see the witness.


Technical Specifications

If circumstances do not enable the Court to dial external participants, parties are advised to seek independent support from an external video conferencing support providor to facilitate an in-coming conference call to the Court's system. These agencies may contact the court to obtain the relevant ISDN phone number for the courtroom in question. Below is a technical summary of the Court's system that may be of use to the external provider:

The NSW Supreme Courts use single videoconference codecs for videoconference links and dual videoconference codecs for bail video links. These units are either Tandberg MXP3000 or Cisco TelePresence C40 using IP to connect to a ISDN gateway. Each videoconference codec 's default capacity is set to 512k per codec through the ISDN gateway. The NSW Supreme Courts codecs use standards based algorithms for video and audio with H264 video at 25 fps and G.722 audio as the preferred connection protocol.

Technical Information for Supreme Court Videolink Systems
November 2011
Codec ManufacturerCisco / Tandberg
Codec ModelTandberg MXP 3000 or Cisco TelePresence C40
Transmission RateH320 via ISDN Gateway 512k
Transmission Algorithm H.264, G.722

Fees*
*GST is not included in these charges and will be added to all accounts.

ServiceCall destinationBooking Fee (non-refundable)Cost for 1st hourCost per subsequent hour
Video Conference link in Civil proceedingsWithin Australia$110.00 $200.00$140.00
Outside Australia$110.00 $1,400.00$1,340.00
Telephone Conference link in Civil proceedingsWithin AustraliaNo chargeNo chargeNo charge
Outside Australia$20.00 Call charges exceeding $20 will be billed to clients via invoice after the link has occurred.



Forms

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Last updated: 12 September 2012
NSW Government Crest