Before the hearing

You are responsible for making sure you and any witnesses you call have the appropriate equipment, internet connection and environment to take part.

There should be no external factors that are going to impact on your ability, or your witnesses’ ability, to take part in the hearing. You should also make sure that your witnesses have the relevant documents available when giving evidence.

Witness support

You are responsible for supporting your witness. Witnesses who are vulnerable may need extra support when giving evidence. It's your responsibility to discuss with them what support a witness may need and raise any concerns with us prior to the hearing.

Technical requirements

You need access to a computer or device that has a working camera, microphone and speakers.

Make sure that:

  • your device is charged and plugged in
  • you have the Teams app with the most recent update
  • your device’s settings allow your camera and microphone to access Teams.

Your device may have different functionality to what is shown in this guide. We don’t recommend using a mobile phone as functionality will be limited.

You need an internet connection with a minimum of 1mbps download speed and 500kps upload actual speed. You can find your actual speed from tools such as Speedtest. For best performance we recommend your workspace is connected to your broadband router via a cable rather than wireless.

For guidance on the speeds available in your area refer to Ofcom.

Variables that could impact your connection speed while you are connected to the hearing are:

  • how many households are using the same internet line as you
  • others using your internet connection for streaming services, online gaming etc.

Oaths/Affirmation

When giving evidence, witnesses are required to give an affirmation. If you or your witness wish to give an oath, it’s your responsibility to make sure the correct holy book is available.

Reasonable adjustments

We can provide support before and during the hearing to help you access Teams.

If you need specific reasonable adjustments to take part in a hearing, follow the instructions in the notice of hearing letter.

You can find more information on our commitment to equality and diversity in our accessibility statement. Teams accessibility support provides a list of topics and articles that can help you make Teams more accessible.

No-one else should be present in the room when a witness is giving evidence. If you or a witness needs a supporter with you, please raise this with us at the earliest stage.