A push to have expert witnesses give court testimony via videolink will save Queensland taxpayers money, the attorney-general says.
Expert witnesses will have to give court evidence by videolink or phone under a Queensland plan to save taxpayers’ money.
The change will reduce the Department of Public Prosecution’s $1.5 million annual bill it pays to fly in and accommodate witnesses in hotels.
“We live in a digital world these days and allowing Queensland’s courtrooms to plug in will not only improve efficiency, it will save taxpayers money,” Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie told reporters on Wednesday.
But he said a judge could still order an expert witness to appear in person if the prosecution or defence argued it was in the interests of justice.
He used the example of a witness needing to point at a model, or use their bodies to demonstrate something.
Chief Justice Paul de Jersey has backed the change.
Mr Bleijie said the change could be extended to other types of witnesses in the future.
“I see this as a general trend towards more matters and people being heard from videoconferencing facilities.”