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A mock Family Court hearing today, presided over by Principal Family Court Judge Peter Boshier, will test web-based video-conferencing technology in Queenstown, Invercargill, Balclutha and Wellington.
Ministry of Justice senior communications adviser Nathan Green said the hearing would test the technology to see whether it could be used to link judges in main centres with lawyers and their clients in "remote locations".
The trial would include Queenstown lawyer Dale Lloyd, Invercargill lawyer Kate McHugh and Balclutha lawyer Annie Scott.
Mr Green said it would be followed by a "six-month proof-of-concept" trial next year involving actual cases.
During that period, selected lawyers from Balclutha, Alexandra and Oamaru would be able to have administrative matters heard before a Dunedin Family Court judge.
Later next year, lawyers from Queenstown and Gore would be able to appear before an Invercargill Family Court judge.