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SCJC launches court hearing attendance consultation

Following pandemic-related changes, the SCJC has launched the consultation and draft rules to consider in which circumstances different modes of attendance can be incorporated into lasting law

The Scottish Civil Justice Council (SCJC) has launched a consultation and set of draft rules on the mode of attendance at court hearings in civil proceedings.

In response to the pandemic, the Scottish Parliament passed legislation allowing civil proceedings to take part by way of live visual or audio link from any location.

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Moreover, the changes, which can be overruled by the court or tribunal when appropriate, mean that requirements for physical attendance at hearings are currently suspended.

While the legislation was due to expire on 30 September 2021, this has recently been extended until 31 March 2022.

Following the pandemic-related changes, the SCJC has launched the consultation and draft rules to consider in which circumstances different modes of attendance can be incorporated into lasting law.

Included in this is which mode of hearing is likely to be the most appropriate for different categories of civil proceedings, the creation of a default position and exemptions for certain categories, and the process for making an application for attendance at a hearing in a manner other than the default position.

The SCJC said that it is “prioritising this work which is being taken forward at pace”, with the consultation set to close on 18 October 2021.

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