SEOUL, March 5 (Korea Bizwire) — A remote ‘video trial’ was held in a South Korean court as the coronavirus outbreak continues unabated.
The measure comes as part of the South Korean court’s initiative to minimize physical contact and prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Seoul High Court carried out a trial on a financial lawsuit remotely via video on Wednesday.
Representatives from the plaintiff and the accused were present via video conference calling from computers or smartphones. They were shown on the large screen on the left side of the court wall for the audience to see.
The plaintiff’s representative was shown wearing a white headset as he awaited the judges. Before the trial, a court staffer checked the quality of video and sound reception with the representatives across the screen.
The presiding judge entered the court at 2 p.m. wearing a protective mask.
The trial commenced just like any other proceeding, the only difference being that the representatives were present across the screen.
The court checked if the representatives were present, and carried on to preparatory proceedings for oral argument.
Preparatory proceedings refers to the phase of organizing the arguments and evidence submitted by the parties to ensure an efficient, concentrated oral argument.
Rules of civil procedure allow for preparatory proceedings over video or telephone if both parties agree.
From time to time, the presiding judge was seen screening electronic lawsuit records on the large screen alongside the two contending parties.
The 20-minute session commenced smoothly, with excellent video and sound reception.
When the presiding judge pressed ‘end of trial,’ a pop-up screen asked if the judge wanted to close the session. Pressing on ‘confirm’ shut down all screens, terminating the session.
The court decided to hold the next follow-up session remotely as well.
This is not, however, the first remote trial carried out in South Korea. The first remote trial was held in November 2016 when Seoul Central District Court carried out a video questioning of a witness during a civil lawsuit.
Seoul High Court decided to add two more cases of video trials this week.
Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)