A NEW set of eyes watch on in Tamworth District Court.
A green light in the corner of the room indicates the courtroom is on the air, in Sydney’s Civic Centre – a remote monitor transcribes the vital details.
Trialled for the first time in Tamworth on Monday, the new system is designed to cut costs, with some monitors able to watch up to four courts at once from a central location.
Trudie Carr was in the district court on Monday to make sure the process went smoothly.
“I’m here because it’s experimental [for Tamworth] to see if it all runs okay but eventually nobody will be sitting here,” she said.
“It helps to save money with country travel, I’m just babysitting to see if it’s running all right but eventually I won’t be here.”
A court monitor observes the proceedings from numerous cameras in the room and logs time-coded information about who is speaking in court.
That information helps the person later on who will prepare the court transcript.
It’s been going on in city courtrooms since 2012, with the Department of Justice introducing it in Sydney CBD and Parramatta District Courts.
The new system means lawyers will have to announce themselves, the spelling of their names and the client they represent for the sake of the remote monitor.
Remote monitors watch the live stream and help increase the efficiency of the justice system, a Department of Justice spokesman said.
“The technology is currently being trialled in some regional District Court locations, including Tamworth,” he said.
“However no decision has been made about whether remote court monitoring will be utilised on a regular basis in regional areas.”