Video links will be used in select cases to ensure justice is served more speedily
Video technology to be introduced in Ajman courts
Court hearings via video link are being launched in Ajman - making it the second emirate in the UAE to turn to technology to speed up the judicial process.
Appeals to extend detention periods of those in custody ahead of trial previously required suspects to be transported to the courtroom - taking up valuable time and staff resources - but now police and prosecutors have teamed up to introduce hearings by video.
According to UAE law, prosecutors are only permitted to hold suspects in preventive custody for seven days following which, if they wished to extend the suspect’s detention time, they must present their case before a court judge.
Now video call technology will allow suspects to present their case directly to a judge without needing to be present in court - reducing the time for cases to be heard from seven hours to just 15 minutes.
Special sound-proofed halls, to protect the privacy of all suspects, have been provided with audio visual communication equipment, said major general Shaikh Sultan bin Abdullah Al Nuaimi, commander-in-chief of Ajman Police.
“The initiative will facilitate procedures for all parties involved and will reduce commuting of inmates from the punitive establishment to the courts and back,” he said.
The police chief said the time-consuming procedure, including transport to and from court, can take as much as seven hours but can now be resolved in a matter of minutes.
The initiative can also reduce security risks involved with transporting those in custody, said brigadier general Mubarak Khalfan Al Razi, director general of Ajman’s penal and correctional establishments.
The move comes just a month after Abu Dhabi Judicial Department reveled plans to set up a virtual coutroom to increase the efficiency of legal proceedings.
Courts in the UAE capital are to allow trials to take place with the use of video conferencing, in cases where it is inconvenient to bring defendants from prison.
Abu Dhabi Judicial Department said the move will speed up the judicial process.
Chief Justice Alawadi Al Mahri, head of the Abu Dhabi penal courts, said the sessions will be transmitted live between court and the prison.
The new procedures follow federal law no 5, 2017, which allows the criminal and misdemeanour courts to hold trials through video conference, he said.
The department has not stated when video links will be rolled out in Abu Dhabi courts.