VICTIMS WILL feel right at home during court cases, in fact they may literally be at home, with new video conferencing facilities set to be installed in courthouses around Queensland.
The technology, which will cost the state government $1.4 million this year, is part of a modernisation program that will see courts become more efficient and provide improved protection for victims.
Arguing that new bricks and mortar were only the beginning of the revamping process that the government was undertaking, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Rod Welford said the government would install video conferencing and CCTV facilities in twelve magistrates courts this year.
The new technology, which is essentially closed circuit television equipment, enables children and sexual assault victims to give evidence from a protected room without confronting the defendant in the courtroom, Welford explained.
“The videoconferencing equipment goes a step further and enables witnesses in distant locations to give evidence from a protected room without travelling to the courtroom,” he said.
It is also beneficial for professionals such as forensic scientists and specialist police witnesses to give evidence, without having to make their way to the courtroom. “This will reduce any delays in hearing matters because of the availability of witnesses and therefore make our justice system more effective,” Welford said.