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Telephone hearings

PD 23, para 6.1 provides that the court may order an application, or part of one to be dealt with by a telephone hearing. The application notice was amended to include the opportunity for the applicant to request that the application be heard by telephone conference. Although the court has the power to order that the application is heard by way of a telephone conference, it is unlikely to be ordered unless all the parties consent (PD 23, para 6.2). Also if a party is acting in person, a telephone conference will not be ordered unless that party is accompanied by a responsible person who is known to the party and who confirms the identity of the party at the beginning of the hearing (PD 23, para, 6.3(1)). A responsible person includes a barrister, solicitor, legal executive, doctor, clergyman, police officer, prison officer or other person of comparable status (PD 23, para 6.3(2)).