SEOUL, Nov. 16 (Korea Bizwire) – A Seoul Central District Court trial Wednesday featured a remote video testimony by a witness, the first of its kind to take place in Korea.
During a service payment lawsuit between a design firm, the plaintiff, and an exhibitor, the defendant, witness Kim testified about the two firms’ contract process, all through a video screen from Jeju, some 460 kilometers south of Seoul.
A main screen installed on one of the side walls of the courtroom was split into three sections with each displaying in real-time the witness, the defendant, and the plaintiff’s representative for the audience’s viewing, while the court officials, including the attorney and the judge, viewed Kim’s testimony through their own computer screens.
The remote video testimony system was implemented on September 30 following a revision to the Civil Procedure Act, to better facilitate witnesses with geographical limitations or circumstances that make face-to-face encounters with plaintiffs or defendants difficult.
Whether to question the witness via a video monitor or in person is decided by the court, upon receiving opinions from the defendant and plaintiff. The same applies even when one of the parties requests video questioning.
As for the witness, they must testify at the closest court possible, whereas other professional evaluators such as doctors, who can also take advantage of the new system, may testify at their office or home.
“Communications technology has allowed us to overcome the physical restraints of the witness,” said a court official. “We can even bring opinions by overseas experts to local trials (using the video testimony system).”
By Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)