A additional 50 courtrooms across the State will be fitted with technologies to facilitate remote and”hybrid vehicle” courtroom hearings in the upcoming year since the Courts Service proceeds to quickly modernise in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ambitious plans to expand the utilization of technology from the courts program were put out yesterday as the Courts Service launched its three-year tactical plan, forming the”initial tranche of a decade of modernisation”.

At a major index of these changes to come, the Courts Service said it now”envisages a future of’hybrid courts’, blending the old traditions of the physical courtrooms with digital courts as suitable”.

Chief Justice Frank Clarke, who chairs the Courts Service board, stated:”It is almost a cliché to state that we live in a fast-changing and increasingly demanding world.

“Before the start of the Covid-19 outbreak we, in the Courts Service, had identified the need to plan strategically over the next decade because of its implementation of a modern fit-for-purpose and cost effective court system that will contribute towards making access to justice simpler.”

He added:”The world and nation are amidst a sea change, in which our function is to guarantee that the justice sector makes it a period of renaissance not immunity ”

Steps to be taken during the duration of the three-year program include making domestic violence applications remotely accessible, removing the need for them to be made in person at a construction; jury summons direction to be included in an internet method for interaction with those summonsed for duty; attendance in court by appointment, rather than by queuing; enlarging cashless payments at court offices; along with also the roll-out of a debt asserts system on line.

At a strategic level, the Courts Service is focusing on working closely with ministers to execute the new arrangement for household justice identified in the Programme for Government; Assessing the opportunities for an increase in global dispute settlement in Ireland post-Brexit; and implementing steps to enhance endurance and reduce the carbon footprint of the courts.

Angela Denning, CEO of the Courts Service, said:”The present pandemic has caused the Courts Service to hasten the adoption of new ways of working. It’s provided a significant impetus to accomplish this, in addition to very considerable learning about what’s likely to work or not work in the medium term.

“The Courts Service is currently at a vital moment where potential future strategies will come to an end and the execution of our ambitious 10-year program will begin.”