Following social distancing requirements required during the Covid-19 pandemic an Application for Leave to Appeal Against Conviction before the full Court of Appeal was heard this morning (Friday 27th March 2020) with all of the parties appearing from separate locations remotely. RLC member Andrew Thompson appeared before the Court of Appeal led by Tom Little QC (Senior Treasury Counsel).
Lord Just Fulford indicated after the hearing that this was the first time ever that the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) had heard an Appeal Against Conviction where all of the parties appeared remotely using technology from separate locations. No one was in the same room as any other participant with several of the participants working from home. Each of the participants was asked to rate the experience with almost entirely favourable responses from all.
Counsel for the Applicants appeared over a telephone link that worked very well with video feeds for the three Appeal Judges, the Applicant, and counsel for the Respondent. All were in separate locations.
The case may well go on to provide further guidance on the disclosure of material held on phones and other mobile devices in criminal cases. As there were additional matters to be considered, Judgement was reserved to a date to be confirmed. It is expected that the judgement will also be given remotely using the same technology.