Court hearings via video 'risk unfairness for disabled people'

Remote video trials could disadvantage people with learning disabilities, the equalities watchdog has warned, as courts switch to online hearings during the coronavirus crisis. An interim report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has highlighed concerns about the impact of conducting cases without defendants being present in court. “Trust and rapport are harder to build up … people and behaviours can be easily misunderstood over remote technology.” Such barriers to communication were “compounded by the short time slots available for video consultations” between lawyers and their clients who might be in a prison, at a police station or elsewhere.