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House of Commons Hansard
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Courts: Video Conferencing
23 March 2010
Volume 508
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To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether his Department has issued guidance in respect of its virtual court pilot scheme on whether a person who appears in court over a video link from a prison or a police station may be held to be in contempt of court. [322862]

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No guidance has been issued in relation to contempt of court in virtual court cases.

The legislative framework for virtual courts is in sections 57A-57D of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (as, amended). The legislation provides that the accused is to be treated as present in court when appearing through a live link under those sections. Case law and legislation concerning contempt in the face of the court would therefore apply to such hearings in the same way as it does to hearings where the defendant is present in court.