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Audio Conference vs. Video Conference October 12, 2010

Posted by Ani Munirah in E-Court, Press Release.
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The Malaysian courts would take another leap into the technological phase, with the proposed launching of the audio conference system at the courts in Kuala Lumpur. Audio conference is where the parties relevant to the case would be able to communicate with each other via fixed line or mobile phone without being physically present at one place. This is indeed an initiative by the Malaysian judiciary to further enhance the delivery of the civil justice system in Malaysia – at affordable costs – only RM2 per conference session or RM5 if the parties wish for the session to be recorded.

Audio plan appeals to courts

By M. MAGESWARI
Tuesday October 12, 2010
(c) The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: An audio conferencing system will be implemented in Malaysian courts nationwide to improve the management of cases, show-cause hearings and inter-court communication.

The system will be launched by Chief Justice Tun Zaki Tun Azmi at the Jalan Duta court complex’s library here at 10am on Friday.

Sources told The Star yesterday that the system would be an efficient way to reduce unnecessary travel time and court appearances for lawyers.

“Every day, hundreds of lawyers travel to court to make brief appearances that may not actually require their physical presence.

“There are countless case management, as well as show-cause hearings that fall into these categories,” the sources stated.

They said court officials could also use the service for interaction among themselves over the handling of certain cases.

Audio conferencing is a form of meeting where the participants do not have to be in the same place and can simultaneously take part via fixed telephone lines or mobile phones.

“The lawyers normally have to wait for hours just to record their case management cases which will take only about five to 10 minutes.

“This system will be convenient for lawyers as it eliminates the waiting period and saves time and costs travelling to court,” they said.

The system is also expected to help reduce litigation costs for clients.

“Lawyers with handphones will get an SMS notification prior to the conference over the management of the cases,” a senior official from a telecommunications company told The Star.

Court registrars could also invite new participants if required.

“Another feature of the system is group conferencing,” the official stated.

Lawyers will have pay RM2 per conference session and RM5 for recording the conversation.

“For the duration of the conversation, the payment is 11sen per minute,” the official said, adding that the court could download the recording of the conversation and share it with lawyers involved in cases.

This is the latest step taken by the judiciary, in addition to the New Civil Court (NCvC), Admiralty Court and New Commercial Court to dispose off cases quickly.

In contrast, in the Sabah and Sarawak courts, they have had the audio conference system up and running since approximately 2 years ago. On top of that, they have also been conducting video conference sessions between selected technology courts within Sabah, as well as within Sarawak, with the option whether to use audio only or coupled with video i.e. a conference session where the parties would ‘virtually meet’ in audio as well as video where they could see each other, without being physically present at the same place. I was made to understand that the cost for the adoption of such technology is also affordable – at RM50 per conference session of 30 minutes or part thereof.

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