A new video platform enabling more remote cases to be heard safely and securely is being rolled out to the civil and family courts during July 2020, Ministers have confirmed.

  • The Cloud Video Platform is being extended to civil and family courts
  • Over 120 courts set to have more reliable video tech that improves remote court hearings
  • Roll out is part of HMCTS recovery plan to ensure justice continues to be served
  • It follows the successful implementation of the Cloud Video Platform (CVP) across 60 crown courts and 93 magistrates’ courts. The technology has been used in some 3,600 crown court hearings and more than 7,000 overnight remand cases heard by magistrates.

CVP can be accessed by any device that has a camera and a microphone – such as a mobile phone or tablet. Anyone can join easily, and securely, through a web browser, and sessions can be locked to make sure only appropriate parties join. Training rooms can also be set up so that sessions may be rehearsed before they go live.

Extending it to civil and family proceedings means that all courts in England and Wales will have the technology needed to hold remote hearings – giving users a safer, reliable, and more accessible service, while ensuring justice continues to be delivered.

CVP is being rolled out to further Crown and Magistrates’ shortly, and it’s scheduled to be available in all our criminal courtrooms by the end of July.

Guidance on how to join a CVP hearing can be found here on the UK government website.

On 18th May, Lord Saville of Newdigate (The President of The Academy of Experts) announced the appointment of The Rt Hon Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury as Deputy President of The Academy of Experts. Lord Neuberger will succeed Lord Saville as President of The Academy later in the year.

Lord Neuberger is a welcome addition to an already illustrious list of current and former Presidents and Vice-Presidents of The Academy of Experts. Other notable names include, Rt Hon Lord Howe of Aberavon, Rt Hon Lord Slynn of Hadley PC, Baroness Kennedy of the Shaws QC and Rodger Pannone OBE QC.

Lord Neuberger commented on his appointment:

“It is an honour to have been invited to succeed Mark Saville as President of The Academy of Experts.

In seeking to ensure that expert witnesses in court and arbitral proceedings adhere to high standards, the Academy performs a very important role.

It is fundamental to the rule of law that legal proceedings are, and are seen to be, professionally and fairly conducted and in this increasingly technical world where such proceedings increasingly require technical evidence, so that the need for reliable experts is greater than ever. And I would add that the present COVID-19 pandemic has served to bring home to many people who may not have fully appreciated it the importance not just of experts, but of reliable and independent experts.”

Lord Saville said:

“As a former Master of the Rolls and President of the United Kingdom Supreme Court David Neuberger is the ideal candidate to continue leading the work of The Academy of Experts.

I know that when I stand down I will be leaving Experts in the UK and around the world in safe hands – I cannot think of anyone more suited to this prestigious and important role.”

The Rt Hon Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury

After reading chemistry at Oxford and then spending three years as an investment banker, David Neuberger was called to the Bar in 1975 and practised largely in property law, taking silk in 1987. He was appointed a High Court Judge, sitting in the Chancery Division, in 1996, and was Supervisory Chancery Judge for Midland, Wales and Chester and Western Circuits from 2001.

In 2004, he was made a Lord Justice of Appeal, and a Privy Counsellor. In the same year, he was appointed Judge in charge of IT and modernisation. In 2007 he was promoted to be a Law Lord and became a peer. He was appointed Master of the Rolls in 2009. In 2012, he became the President of the United Kingdom Supreme Court, a position from which he retired in 2017. In 2018, he started practising as an arbitrator and legal expert from One Essex Court in the Temple, London.

Since 2010, Lord Neuberger has been a Non-Permanent Judge of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal and since 2018 a judge of the Singapore International Commercial Court. He was Treasurer of Lincoln’s Inn in 2017. He is an honorary Fellow of the Royal Society, and an honorary member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. He was on the Board of the University of the Arts London from 2001 to 2010, and was a trustee, and then chairman, of the Schizophrenia Trust from 2000 to 2012. He is a trustee of MHRUK, a mental health research funding trust, and of Prisoners Abroad, and patron of Sapere, a children’s educational trust. He chaired the Magna Carta Trust 2009-2012.  He chaired an investigation for the Bar Council into widening access to the barrister profession in 2006-2007, and also served on the panel on fair access to the professions in 2008-2009.


The Academy of Experts and HKA seek your experience and opinions on the giving of expert evidence in ‘virtual hearings’, in any dispute forum. We hope to combine those experiences and observations with those received from lawyers, barristers, judges, arbitrators, adjudicators, and experts to bring together a broader platform of insight that will be of interest to the dispute community.

Using that content together with contributions from different jurisdictions will allow us to aggregate a global experience document with best tips/considerations from experience across the different participants in the process with the potential aim of producing a ‘Good Practice Guide’.

If you wish to participate in this research, please click here

On 23rd April 2020, Lord Saville of Newdigate (The President of The Academy of Experts) announced the appointment of Professor Sir Terence Stephenson DM, FRCPCH, FRCP, SFFMLM as a Vice President.

Sir Terence is a welcome addition to an already illustrious list of current and former Presidents and Vice-Presidents of The Academy of Experts. Other notable names include, Rt Hon Lord Howe of Aberavon, Rt Hon Lord Slynn of Hadley PC, Baroness Kennedy of the Shaws QC and Rodger Pannone OBE QC.

Sir Terence commented on his appointment:
“I am delighted to accept the invitation to be a Vice President of the Academy of Experts. I have worked with the Academy for many years and I recognise it as a valuable source of independent experts. The Academy also provides training and accreditation for experts and has produced helpful guidance for experts involved in litigation.”

Lord Saville said:
“At a time when Experts and particularly those in the medical arena, are under intensive scrutiny Sir Terence’s knowledge and experience will provide a valuable contribution to ensuring higher standards for Experts.”

Professor Sir Terence Stephenson

Professor Sir Terence Stephenson is Nuffield Professor of Child Health at the Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, University College London and Co-Director of the nationally funded Children’s Policy Research Unit. He is also Chair of the Health Research Authority for England.He was knighted in the 2018 New Year Honours for services to Healthcare and Children’s Health Services.

Professor Stephenson was Chair of the UK GMC 2015-2018, the regulator of 237,000 doctors Previously he was Chair of the UK Academy of Medical Royal Colleges 2012-2014 and President of the UK Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health 2009-2012.


The Family Justice Council is holding its 13th Annual Debate and panel discussion in London on Wednesday, 4 December 2019, from 5-7pm.

The motion for this year’s debate reads: Do separating parents need the Family Court?

The event will be chaired by Sir Andrew McFarlane, President of the Family Division and Chair of the Family Justice Council. The panel speakers are:

  • Mavis Maclean – Senior Research Fellow in Law, Oxford
  • Jane Robey – Chief Executive, National Family Mediation
  • Olive Craig – Senior Legal Officer, Rights of Women
  • Heather MacGregor – Deputy District Judge, Central Family Court

We aim to achieve a cross-section of all the key professions working in the family justice system and welcome applications from those who represent the interests of service users.

Please apply to the Family Justice Council at: giving your name, area of expertise and contact details by close of business on 21 November 2019.

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