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Using Video for Remote Court Proceedings

Joint Court of Justice of Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, and of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba works with Pexip

How the Joint Court of Justice of Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, and of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Uses Pexip

Around the world, justice organizations are using video conferencing to facilitate remote court proceedings. While this trend has accelerated in recent years, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced even more rapid video adoption to enable continuity of operations amidst travel restrictions and health recommendations like social distancing.

The Joint Court of Justice of Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, and of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, experienced this shift firsthand. The court hears and decides appeals from Courts of First Instance in the Dutch Caribbean, and has physical courtroom locations spread across three of the islands. The court system was already using video conferencing from Pexip, but when COVID-19 restrictions hit, it moved all of its proceedings to a virtual format.

 

How Pexip supports remote hearings

The court system uses Pexip Virtual Meeting Rooms (VMRs) to connect multiple participants into one meeting. Parties are often located on different islands, and even across the pond in the Netherlands, but Pexip brings everyone together regardless of where they’re located. Guests can join from the devices they already use, including a laptop or webcam-enabled PC, web browser, mobile device, or existing video system. For instance, the Joint Court has Cisco video systems in their courtrooms, and judges can easily use those to join remote hearings hosted on Pexip.

Security, quality, and ease of use are paramount

As a justice organization, security and privacy are key considerations for conducting virtual hearings. From an application layer, the court needs to ensure that meetings can be private, and Pexip’s ability to set PIN codes and lock conferences was an important factor when evaluating solutions. From a network perspective, the court relies on Pexip’s cloud service, which leverages best-in-class industry encryption standards and complies with the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre 14 Cloud Security Principles.

After testing multiple collaboration platforms, the Joint Court selected Pexip because of its high-quality video and audio connections. Other platforms did not offer a consistently reliable experience, and sometimes, the quality would drop. Judicial staff have found that video calls are much more reliable when hosted on Pexip’s service.

The court also chose Pexip because it offers a simple, easy-to-use experience. Users can join a virtual session just by clicking a button, from the device of their choice. With Pexip, it just works.

Keeping both officers and inmates safe

While virtual court hearings are nothing new, they play a huge role in how courts operate and will likely continue to do so, even beyond the pandemic. By reducing the need for travel, organizations can limit the risk of infection and keep everyone safe. Detainees can virtually meet the judge without leaving the police station or jail, limiting potential exposure to the virus. The Joint Court has set up a dedicated video conferencing workstation at the police station for this exact purpose, and has received very positive feedback on the Pexip solution.

As the use of video conferencing continues to expand, training and education can help new users easily get started and help organizations overcome barriers to adoption. Recognizing this, the court sends instructional guides to participants in new legal cases so they understand how to join their virtual session. By preparing them in advance, judicial staff can ensure that hearings start on time and maintain efficiency in their processes.

Pexip plays a key role in helping the Joint Court modernize its collaboration technologies and accelerate its move towards digital transformation.

Learn more about how Pexip supports government organizations here.