Digital Audio Recording
In June 2003, Digital Audio Recording (DAR) systems were installed in all five courtrooms in the courthouse and the two courtrooms in the Registries building.
These systems recorded all court sessions (as required by Manx law) which were then archived onto CD and securely stored. Prior to this system being implemented, recordings of court sessions were made using cassette-based recording units.
In September 2010, the DAR system was upgraded to the latest digital version. Since then, court recordings have been stored on a secure networked server rather than onto CDs. This latest provision will reduce costs by eliminating the need to copy to a CD; save court clerk’s time as the archiving process is now automated and physical storage space for newly created CDs is no longer required.
A copy of any court proceeding can still be copied onto a CD if required; for instance if an advocate requires a copy of a hearing they were involved in.
Customers should note that there is a fee for a copy of a CD and court staff will be able to tell you how much you have to pay. Please note that the fee might increase each year. Please use this link to download the free software required to play a CD which has been provided by the Courts.
In-Court Video Conferencing
The Isle of Man courts installed state-of-the-art video conferencing links in two of its courtrooms in 2008. This system is being replaced and upgraded to the autumn of 2018.
This in-court video conferencing allows a video link to be established with either of two rooms at Jurby prison, a vulnerable witness video conferencing suite, as well as any other accessible video link facilities world-wide.
This technology now allows a prisoner held on remand at Jurby prison to "appear" at the courtroom via the video link instead of attending in person. However, currently a prisoner can only choose to appear by video link for the preliminary hearings; the prisoner is still required to attend court for any actual trial. The use of this technology requires the consent of the prisoner. If they withdraw their consent at any time then the prisoner will attend the court in person instead.
The video conferencing equipment also now allows for the ability for expert witnesses to give evidence from their location instead of having to travel to the Island. This is especially useful as bringing in experts from off island locations can prove extremely costly.
Vulnerable witnesses or those who do not want to appear in the court itself, can now elect to give evidence via the video link system. This is especially useful if a victim is too scared to give evidence in court in front of the defendant.
Currently this technology is only available in criminal cases. However, in the future it is planned to extend this technology for use in civil cases.