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New tech launched in NT Local Courts

The Northern Territory Local Courts have launched a new tech initiative, partnering with a legal tech platform to make justice more accessible for regional communities.

user iconLauren Croft 09 September 2021 Big Law
New tech launched in NT Local Courts
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Aussie legal tech company, Immediation, has announced a first-of-its kind partnership of the NT Local Courts to allow those living in regional communities increase access to justice.

The platform introduced custom-built video conferencing that mimics real court environments, meaning that vulnerable witnesses from Borroloola Circuit Court could participate in proceedings virtually. Immediation conducted a pilot with the Local Courts using the platform, the success of which provided hope for more widespread adoption of legaltech in regional and remote areas. 

Laura Keily, founder and managing director at Immediation, said that the initiative would take pressure off witnesses in regional communities and make it easier and less costly to take part in proceedings.


“For vulnerable witnesses in the far reaches of regional Australia, the cost to appear in court is often incredibly high,” she said.  

“With many no longer living locally by the time the court process is underway, transport fees can cost thousands of dollars, witnesses face hours if not days of travel time, alongside the psychological trauma of taking part in the proceeding face-to-face. This program aims to use technology to pave a way forward to bridge this gap.”

The Local Courts handle the highest proportion of criminal and civil dispute cases in the NT and are the first level of the Northern Territory’s two-tier court system, which has jurisdiction in civil disputes up to $250,000. 

Northern Territory Local Courts executive director of courts and tribunals, Chris Cox, added that the tech platform would allow these communities better access to the court system.

In regional and remote areas of Northern Territory, there is limited infrastructure and huge distances to travel to court in the larger centres. This puts these communities in a challenging position when it comes to accessing the court system, with some foregoing their right to justice altogether.

“The success of the pilot program will further increase the participation of remote and vulnerable witnesses in court proceedings without having to be physically present.”