Virtual courts to dispense digital justice in Abu Dhabi

Criminal cases to be heard remotely as part of efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19

Remote litigation is in operation in Abu Dhabi's criminal court system.
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Trial by video has been rolled out in Abu Dhabi criminal courts to ensure justice is seen to be done while authorities combat the spread of Covid-19.

Virtual courts will be deployed to allow defendants to take part in proceedings while in custody.

The remote litigation scheme will allow hearings to take place digitally, with judges able to hear cases live before delivering verdicts.

The hi-tech initiative is in line with the UAE government's stay-home strategy, aimed at limiting social interaction and helping to limit infection rates in the country.

All parties involved in hearings - defendants and complainants and legal counsel - will be able to access a live video link.

Last month, officials in Dubai suspended public court sessions and moved to operate services remotely.

All judicial hearings in the Court of Cassation, the Court of Appeal and the Courts of First Instance held in public will be temporarily halted until Thursday, April 16, subject to further review.

Dubai Courts said some hearings - including those involving defendants who are remanded in custody - will continue to be considered by judges operating remotely.