Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2008

Videoconferencing in civil proceedings.

26.— (1) Subject to subsection (2), in any civil proceedings, a court may, of its own motion or on the application of any of the parties, and having heard the parties, direct that a party may participate in any hearing in the proceedings, or that a witness may give evidence in any such hearing, from a location other than the court itself, whether from within or outside the State, by means of a live television link.

(2) A court shall not give a direction under subsection (1) unless facilities are available which enable the party or witness to see and hear the proceedings at the hearing and to be seen and heard by those present in the courtroom in which the hearing is taking place, and in any event shall not give such a direction if—

(a) it would be unfair to any of the parties to do so, or

(b) it would otherwise be contrary to the interests of justice to do so.

(3) Where a court gives a direction under subsection (1), the party or witness concerned shall be deemed to be present at the hearing concerned.

(4) If a court, on an application made to it under subsection (1), does not give a direction under that subsection, it shall give its reasons for not doing so.

(5) This section applies to civil proceedings that are either—

(a) brought on or after the commencement of this section, or

(b) pending on the date of such commencement.