Digital recording of civil proofs and jury trials using equipment installed in courtrooms has been approved in the Sheriffdom of South Strathclyde, Dumfries & Galloway.

A practice note (No 1 of 2019) signed by Sheriff Principal Ian Abercrombie QC, which came into force on Wednesday 15 January, provides guidance on the proper use of the equipment, which is approved for the purposes of rules 29.18 and 36B.11 of the Ordinary Cause Rules. This makes it available for recording evidence without the need to seek prior approval of the court, and without the need to check the availability of a shorthand writer.

Guidance is given on court users speaking so as to ensure what they say is picked up. However practitioners are also warned that their private conversations in court may be picked up if they take place close to the microphones.

If a transcript is required, the sheriff clerk can advise on available transcribers.