Ukraine approves procedure for remote participation in court hearings
CMS, Kyiv, Ukraine,
Apr 16, Fri, 2020
On 8 April 2020, the Ukrainian State Judiciary Administration issued regulations on using videoconferencing tools during court hearings.
These regulations implement recently passed amendments to procedural legislation, which allows the use of videoconferencing tools in Ukrainian court hearings during the quarantine regime.
Specifically, the regulations instruct court employees on the technical aspects of handling videoconferencing tools necessary for hearings and detail the requirements that must be adhered to by participants in order to participate remotely in hearings.
Recent changes in procedural legislation have allowed participants of proceedings to take part in hearings remotely by using their own technical devices and from any suitable location. (There is no longer a requirement to join a videoconference from the premises and by using the technical devices of another court).
According to the regulations, in order to take part in a court hearing via videoconferencing, a participant must file a respective motion with the court no later than five days before the hearing and send a copy of this motion to other participants in the case.
The decision to allow such a participant to take part in a court hearing remotely is made by the judge based on the availability of the relevant technical equipment in a given court. The list of local and appellate courts, which have technical capacity to handle videoconferencing in court hearings is available here.
Furthermore, this participant must register (using an electronic signature) at the official website of the judiciary (www.court.gov.ua) and check that the technical devices that he intends to use corresponds with the minimal requirements prescribed by the regulations (i.e. system requirements, connectivity, etc.).
In addition, the regulations state that participation in a court hearing via videoconferencing can only take place by using special software called EasyCon. The State Judiciary Administration does not permit the use of other conferencing software (e.g., Webex, Zoom) to participate in hearings.
The adoption of the above procedure is expected to expedite participation in court hearings by using videoconferencing tools and to help ensure social distancing during the quarantine in Ukraine.