Guidance and Checklist

The following are among the essentials for a successful virtual hearing.

Under the guidance of the Tribunal, these should be used as a checklist when preparing for, and during, the proceedings.

 

Scheduling and timings

 

Agree on the timetable for the proceedings, bearing in mind any participants in different time zones.

Let IDRC have this information as far in advance of the hearing as possible.

Allow sufficient additional time if consecutive interpretation is to be used.

Virtual hearings necessarily involve a high technology component, and sufficient time should also be allowed before proceedings start to set up equipment and test internet, audio and video connections.

 

List of participants

 

Draw up and circulate a list fully identifying all participants, including Tribunal members, counsel and parties according to their role, chambers, law firm or company, and, as appropriate, whether with Claimant or with Respondent.

 

IDRC will require this list, together with a contact name, telephone number and email address for each location to be joined by video, in order to set up and maintain the link and to-trouble shoot as may be necessary.

 

All virtual platforms are password protected to limit access, which will be denied to anyone who has not been identified on the agreed list.

 

IT – minimum spec

 

A designated liaison for the hearing should consult with IDRC on the technology and equipment needed to facilitate the smooth running of proceedings.

These will include reliable high-speed internet connections; a desk-top or laptop, keyboard, mouse, HD webcam and high-quality microphone for each participant in the video conference; and separate desk-tops or laptops to access any shared or confidential electronic materials and any real-time transcription.

 

Remote hearing platform

 

Agree, and notify IDRC of the choice of virtual platform.

IDRC integrates seamlessly with most leading audio/video conferencing solutions, including Cisco WebEx, BlueJeans, Zoom, Skype for Business.

Let IDRC know if a third-party audio/video conferencing provider is to be used.

 

Document sharing platform

 

Ensure that all documents are available in digital form, including witness statements, slides, exhibits etc.

Agree a platform, or platforms, for securely storing and transmitting electronic documents and other files, both for the participants collectively, and confidentially for individual participants.

 

Consider encryption.

 

 

Pre-hearing testing

 

To ensure compatibility and to minimise technical problems, IDRC will liaise with all participants to conduct tests in advance of virtual proceedings.

We recommend that all participants also schedule their own tests to familiarise themselves with the use of the platforms and equipment.

IDRC staff are available to conduct training if required.

 

At the proceedings

 

The Tribunal will, in the normal way, instruct the parties on all “housekeeping” matters, but IDRC would recommend that these include the following:

  • all mobile phones to be switched to mute, but kept visible;
  • ensuring that any confidential notes that need to be readily available  are not showing on participants’ screens;
  • scheduling bathroom and refreshment breaks as for an in-person hearing;
  • ensuring that every participant has water to hand;
  • muting microphones when not speaking to minimise disruptive sounds from external sources;
  • avoiding using equipment that will interfere with the connectivity and minimising the number of connected devices to improve bandwidth;
  • considering the use of screen share in case of technical problems during the hearing; 
  • taking steps to ensure that there are no disturbances, interruptions or disruptions by any third party at any of the linked locations.

 

 

IDRC is at your disposal to optimise your virtual hearing experience