Practitioners are no doubt overwhelmed by the continued amount of guidance being sent out on an almost daily basis, but guidance published on the 9th April 2020 makes interesting reading.
The guidance, published collaboratively by the Lord Chief Justice, The Master of the Rolls and the President of the Family Division, provides advice to those in the Judiciary.
This included noting that IT specialists have been asked whether there is an option to mute parties who are becoming unruly during remote hearings.
It should also be worth noting that around 40% of hearings have taken place by telephone, video or other remote means since the Covid-19 lockdown.
The guidance acknowledges how remote hearings can be more tiring for those spending long periods in front of a screen or on the telephone. Something all persons working remotely should consider.
In relation to remote hearings, the guidance also states that if all parties oppose a remote hearing taking place this is a "powerful factor" for not proceeding with one. It is unclear whether this also means that where parties request a hearing with the attendance of parties, this will be used as justification to adjourn matters.
The judges say they encouraged colleagues to recognise that doing as much as possible remotely did not mean trying to do everything remotely. They also reveal that IT specialists have been asked to explore whether there is a facility for ‘people who misbehave’ to be muted by the presiding judge.