Inmate boon as courts go high-tech

Inmate boon as courts go high-tech

Verdict-by-video speeds up readings

The use of teleconference technology at the Supreme Court has shortened the verdict delivery process, a move that could expedite the cases of many in detention.

The court has in recent months resorted to using video conferences to issue final rulings amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

Suriyan: Speeds up process

Suriyan Hongvilai, spokesman of the Office of the Judiciary, said delivering a Supreme Court verdict used to take months.

Defendants, especially those who will be released, were likely to remain in custody for longer than necessary while waiting for a verdict.

Before the court started utilising video conference technology, final court rulings and case dossiers in cases were returned to lower courts. The lower courts would then schedule a hearing to read the Supreme Court verdicts and send an agenda to all parties involved in the case.

Mr Suriyan said a shorter verdict reading process can be beneficial to defendants waiting to be released from detention.

The court has drafted a piece of legislation to authorise the use of video conference calls in its verdict reading process.

It is doing so to speed up the process and avoid in-person hearings during the Covid-19 pandemic.

On Tuesday, a Supreme Court justice read a verdict for a drug case for the first time via video conference.

The defendant was detained at Bang Kwang Central Prison, where he and prison officers watched the reading.

The defendant was released shortly after the final judgement was announced.

That same day, the court read the verdict of a defendant detained at Phitsanulok Central Prison.

The defendant listened to the verdict without having to travel to the Nakhon Sawan Court.

The court ordered for the defendant's release immediately.

Lower courts across the kingdom are allowed to relay Supreme Court verdicts via online video conference technology.

Mr Suriyan said the reading of verdicts online can reduce the use of restraints on detainees and prevent them from escaping during travels.

He noted the court can stream the reading and detainees can virtually attend online.

A shorter verdict reading process can make it more convenient for plaintiffs and quickly deliver justice, he said.

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