Phone and Video Conferencing
Phone conferencing allows several people to take part in a review simultaneously, through the use of conference calling. If phone conferencing is not possible, the Tribunal will speak to all the people involved individually by phone, to discuss information presented to the Tribunal.
Video conferencing equipment includes a TV screen, a camera and microphone, which allow participants to see and hear the other end of the line clearly. Operating the video conferencing equipment is generally as simple as making a telephone call.
Why does the Tribunal use phone and video conferencing?
Phone or video conferencing is used when the Tribunal cannot hold a face-to-face hearing for a person. By using phone and video conferencing to conduct many of its mental health inquiries and hearings, the Tribunal and local mental health agencies have been able to improve access to Tribunal hearings, particularly for people living in rural and remote locations. It also allows hearings to occur in people's homes. One or more of the three Tribunal members can be located in Sydney, while the other member(s) may be physically present at the hearing venue. Conferencing is also for emergency hearings, if there is no time to organise a face-to-face hearing.
What are the alternatives to video conferencing?
Some people may feel uncomfortable holding a mental health inquiry or a hearing using video conferencing equipment. If they feel strongly that they do not want to have their inquiry or hearing conducted by video conferencing, they should tell the Tribunal prior to the start of the review. The Tribunal will consider their point of view and may decide to adjourn the review and make other arrangements.