Lord Woolf’s Access to Justice Reforms 1999 recommended that certain types of pre-hearings could take place by telephone. Helen Roberts (Founder and Director of Kidatu), was instrumental in developing and launching the original service whilst at BT.
The benefits then were immediately obvious, and teleconferencing today continues to offer improved efficiency, reduced costs, and an effective way to reduce your carbon footprint.
So what does the Practice Direction actually say?
Now, all allocation hearings, listing hearings, case management hearings and interim applications with a time estimate of less than one hour now take place by telephone, unless all of the parties are unrepresented, or where more than four parties wish to make representation at the Hearing.
In addition, other applications can be dealt with by telephone where all parties agree.
For details of procedures for telephone hearings please refer to Practice Direction 23 of the Civil Procedure Rules http://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/telephone-hearings