Remote hearings will be the default position for bail applications in a bid to hear cases quicker and free up judges' time, the Gazette has learned.

The judiciary's better case management revival handbook now states that mentions, bail applications where the defendant is attending by prison video-link, ground rules hearings, custody time limit extensions, uncontested POCAs and hearings involving short legal argument only will generally be suitable for advocates to attend remotely unless the court orders otherwise.

Lord chancellor Alex Chalk welcomed the operational change, which came into force yesterday.

Alex Chalk, deputy prime minister and secretary of state for justice

Chalk welcomed the operational change

Source: Tayfun Salci/ZUMA Press Wire/Shutterstock

He said: ‘This government has transformed the use of technology in the justice system and the announcement today will save judges and lawyers valuable time, as well as processing more bail hearings. This will get more victims the justice they deserve, and more offenders pay for their crimes.’

The Ministry of Justice said bail and remand decisions are a matter for the judiciary and the changes do not alter who is or is not eligible for bail, or in what circumstances they can submit a bail application.