Hong Kong courts propose the use of remote hearings for certain criminal trials

Consultation paper by city’s judiciary suggests expanding use of remote hearings beyond civil cases, with proposed bill open to public input until September 22.

Hong Kong courts have proposed conducting remote hearings for some criminal trials as well as introducing new offences to ban people from recording and publishing live broadcasts of legal proceedings.

The new arrangement and offences featured in the Courts (Remote Hearing) Bill, with the proposal open to public input between Thursday and September 22.

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, courts have held remote hearings for some civil cases, but refrained from adopting the measures for other types of proceedings, such as criminal trials.