Christina Rees Shadow Minister (Justice):
The new chairman of the Bar Council, Andrew Langdon QC, has warned people not to rely too heavily on the delivery of justice online. Yesterday the President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, complained that facilities in his courts were a disgrace,
“prone to the link”
“failing and with desperately poor sound and picture quality”.
His own court, Court 33, has no such facilities and no video links. Does the Minister understand that some cases are not suitable for video links, and is he prepared to properly resource the ones that are?
Oliver Heald The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice:
It is important for the courts to have the facilities that they need, which is the reason for our modernisation programme. As for the concern expressed about open justice, everything will work on the basis that people are able to see what is happening in a virtual hearing, so there will not be any secret justice.