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Courts turn to video-conference testimony to cut costs

Faced with increasing costs and delays associated with hearing cases, a growing number of judges are trying to drag the court system into the electronic age, including using video links to allow witnesses to testify from afar.

Legal traditionalists are aghast at the prospect of cross-examining witnesses via video, but others believe the new moves will enhance justice and keep the courts credible and accessible.

“The legal system is going to be exposed to ridicule if we don’t move forward with innovative ways of taking evidence,” said Brian Gover, a veteran Toronto lawyer at Stockwoods LLP. “One of the great issues for us in a time of austerity is going to be cost control and delivering justice in an efficient way. Technology has provided an answer to the problem.”

Two recent rulings broke new ground, opening the door to testimony by Skype and teleconferencing.

Read on...


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