A judge reportedly asked a lawyer requesting a remote hearing to show how much petrol she had left in her car, as reports begin to emerge of the impact that the fuel crisis has had on the legal profession.

The Cloud Video Platform enables parties to take part in a hearing remotely and has been widely used to keep the justice system running throughout the pandemic.

Yesterday, the Law Society said it hoped judges would be understanding if court users struggled to physically attend court this week due to the nationwide fuel shortages.

However, Idle Courts, a Twitter account that monitors the under-use of Crown courts, was informed that a judge rejected a CVP request and asked the lawyer to provide evidence of how much fuel they had left and how many petrol stations they visited:

Pressed by one follower for more details, Idle Courts said it was unable to name the court centre or judge because it had promised counsel absolute anonymity. It told another follower that the exchange was not aired in court but done via counsel’s clerk.

The reported incident infuriated lawyers.

One barrister said: ‘At what point did it start being assumed that members of the bar were misleading the court unless proven otherwise?’

A Judicial Office spokesperson said: 'Decisions regarding CVP access are made on a case-by-case basis in the best interests of justice. The decision to grant CVP access is at the discretion of the judge hearing the case.'

Yesterday, Lizzie Dearden, a journalist at The Independent newspaper, tweeted that she made her first application to attend court remotely, citing her car running low on petrol as one of the compelling reasons for the judge to grant it. Her application was granted, though she said it may have been unrelated to the petrol issue.