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21 April, 2020

First virtual court hearing in Scotland

The first virtual court hearing in Scotland in response to the coronavirus situation was successfully held today.

The Court of Session Inner House appeal, Stuart Campbell v Kezia Dugdale, was heard before the Lord President, Lord Carloway, sitting with Lord Menzies and Lord Brodie. The other participants were the clerk of court and the counsel representing the parties, which included Ampersand’s Craig Sandison QC for the appellant, instructed by Halliday Campbell WS. All of the attendees were virtually linked in from separate physical locations.

Both national and freelance media accessed the hearing, providing social media updates throughout the proceedings.

Lord Carloway said: “The technology worked well from the Court’s perspective and the hearing captured the ambience of a physical courtroom. I would like to thank the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service IT team for their work behind the scenes which enabled today’s hearing to take place. The judiciary fully support the promotion of virtual cases where it is technologically possible and appropriate in the current situation.”

The judges will provide a ruling on the case in writing at a later date.

A list of future Court of Session Inner House appeal hearings to be conducted virtually during the coronavirus lock down are available on the Court Rolls.

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