Source: Judiciary, HKSAR Government
For the Benefit of the Legal Profession and Court Users
With a view to enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of court support services, the Judiciary is pleased to introduce the first Technology Court in Hong Kong.
The Technology Court is a direct response to the changing needs of court services today. Court users and the legal profession will be able to take advantage of the new courtroom technologies now in place to facilitate the conduct of proceedings.
Fully Integrated Courtroom Technologies
The Technology Court is equipped with user-friendly features and facilities, including video conferencing, multimedia presentation of evidence, electronic documentation and exhibits handling, and enhanced interpretation services-all integrated into a centrally controlled network. Moreover, a customised projection system has also been installed at the court lobby so that proceedings may be broadcast to interested parties who cannot be accommodated in the trial court.
With the aid of video conferencing facilities, not all witnesses are required to be in court to give evidence. The facilities provide court users with a convenient and less expensive option for taking evidence from overseas witnesses. Parties to the proceedings can save the time and expense of travelling overseas.
Multimedia Presentation of Evidence
The Technology Court enables the presentation of evidence by way of a multimedia platform, incorporating audio, video, and digital signals with graphics, text, film, and computer animation. The components of the multimedia platform include an electronic whiteboard, a visualiser, projectors with motorised projection screens, personal computers with LCD monitors, audio and video players and recorders for a variety of formats (including CD, VCD, DVD, MD and MP3), and a fully integrated sound system.
Electronic Whiteboard: On-screen Annotation
An electronic whiteboard or a touch-screen LCD monitor used together with markup software will allow parties to annotate electronically on documents displayed on screens in the courtroom. Notes or other explanatory markings will then be captured, stored or printed for circulation or court records.
Visualiser: Image Capture and Display
A visualiser is a document camera capable of capturing and displaying images of hardcopy documents, physical objects, or negatives. Such images can be instantaneously broadcast on in-court display screens or saved in the computer for further annotation using the electronic whiteboard or touch-screen markup facilities
Electronic Documentation and Exhibits Handling
All data is safely stored in a central data bank that handles common multimedia and file formats and is fully indexed for instantaneous retrieval of information. Data protection is strictly observed and access to data is restricted to the parties concerned.
Enhanced Interpretation Services
The system can cater for multilingual or multi-dialect consecutive interpretation through dedicated channels, enabling a defendant to select his preferred language.
The Technology Court provides Digital Audio Recording and Transcription Services and allows the examination of vulnerable witnesses via Closed Circuit Television. It is also wired to facilitate real-time court reporting and transcription services.Application for the Use of Facilities.
A formal application has to be made before the level of court where the case is heard or tried. The court may from time to time prescribe and revise the charges levied for the facilities.