Preparing for the new Video Hearings Service
Remote hearings will change in 2024.
Many of you attend remote hearings on the Cloud Video Platform which was introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. During 2024, HMCTS will introduce the Video Hearings Service (‘VHS’) a bespoke service, designed specifically for court hearings and will provide:
• virtual meeting rooms enabling secure, pre-hearing consultations and negotiations, without the need to switch to another platform
• secure, private meeting rooms for judicial office holders to deliberate
• on-demand support from specially trained teams to assist participants if struggling to sign in or if they lose connection during their hearing
• simultaneous interpretation enabling seamless participation in hearings
Your local court will inform you when your hearings on the VHS will begin and the way you join a hearing will change. Joining instructions will be sent from a ‘HMCTS.reform.net’ email address and you’ll need to set up an account before your hearing takes place.
It is important you follow the joining instructions to ensure you can join the hearing.
The service is currently being used nationally in Tax and Property Tribunals, as well as:
• Birmingham Civil and Family Justice Centre
• Chester Crown Court
• Immigration & Asylum Centre, Newport, Wales
• Employment Tribunal, Bristol
• SSCS Tribunal in Scotland
Preparing for change
There are some simple steps you can take now to be ready for hearings on the service:
• share this guidance on updating your IT settings with your IT department
• check this guidance on how to take part in a hearing on the VHS
• contact HMCTS on email@example.com for a check to ensure your network is set up to support hearings
HMCTS wants to work closely with legal professionals to support the move to the VHS. The team behind it welcomes your feedback and questions on the service. Please contact them on firstname.lastname@example.org.