Technology: achieving a humane approach to the remote ways of working in the Family Justice System

Gabrielle Coates, Kim Holt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Covid-19 global pandemic ushered in a Tsunami of disruption both socially and economically. The judiciary, executive and the legislature, were left scrambling both to navigate the restrictions imposed and to identify ways to effectively manage legal proceedings to ensure the administration of justice was maintained. The courts responded by utilising technological advancements such as teleconferencing and a range of remote video platforms to enable remote court proceedings to proceed in response to the unprecedented situation.
Pre-pandemic the only digital stage of the proceedings was the filing of applications and orders; as such the family justice system had a significant adjustment to make in order to respond to the challenge. Whilst members of the judiciary and advocates have worked tirelessly to ensure justice is delivered, it has revealed a digital divide amongst parents who have been left navigating this complex arrangement when they are experiencing stress and are most in need.
This article will probe the challenges of accessibility to the various virtual platforms for parents and to consider whether there has been a successful attempt by members of the judiciary and advocates to ameliorate the inequalities for parents who may not have access to relevant digital technology, and as a result may experience exclusion from the digital process. Furthermore, discussion will be focused upon the impact of remote ways of working within the family justice system and whether there is the possibility of achieving a humane approach by identifying ways to bridge the digital gap.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1132-1140
Number of pages9
JournalFamily Law
Issue numberSeptember
Early online date25 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2022


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