Appeal Court video link-up set to save millions

The Department of Constitutional Affairs (DCA) and the Home Office are in discussions over plans to install a video link in the Court of Appeal which could save the taxpayer millions.

In a pilot exercise last week, the Court of Appeal heard three cases via video link for the first time, with the appellants in each case sitting 300 miles north in Hull prison.

The cost of transporting a category A, or high risk, prisoner to court is £10,000, while the cost of installing the video link permanently is £30,000. On average, the Court of Appeal hears 10 cases a day where prisoners are transported from prison.

A Court Service spokesperson said: “Given the success of the pilot, it is hoped that appeal hearings by video link from the Royal Courts of Justice become standard practice where there is a security risk surrounding an appellant’s attendance in court.”

The DCA and the Home Office need to discuss changes to the law to make the use of video links compulsory.