The High Court has declined an application to delay a case to allow parties to be physically present, instead preferring attendance by audio visual link.

Both parties had moved overseas but could not return to New Zealand due to the covid-19 travel restrictions. One party asked the Court to adjourn the hearing until travel restrictions have been lifted between Australia and New Zealand.

Despite both parties being in Australia, the Court decided that an AVL hearing would be appropriate. The Judge explained that everyone involved in the hearing had access to either a facility providing video conferencing services, or a computer with a stable internet connection. Additionally, there was no difficulty in compiling hard copies of documents into electronic versions.

Importantly, the use of AVL technology in this case did not restrict either party’s access to justice.

During the pandemic, all levels of the court system have made extensive use of AVL systems to hear cases. Due to its accessibility, and continuing international travel bans, courts are likely to continue relying on this technology in the future to ensure court proceedings happen without delays.

If there are concerns about being able to attend a court hearing elsewhere in New Zealand, or overseas, it is wise to speak with a professional experienced in the area.

Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-priced Initial Consultations to suit most people’s needs in quickly learning what their options are.  At Rainey Collins we have an experienced team who can answer your questions and put you on the right track.

Shaun Cousins
Family Lawyer