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Justice Murray of the Ontario Court of Justice recently made a decision that one party in the litigation could be cross examined by Skype.  In Paiva v. Corpening, the party to be cross examined lived in Denmark. Justice Murray previously ordered that the evidence in chief go in by affidavit, in order to speed up the case and make effective use of the court’s time without losing any of the benefits of oral testimony.  When the evidence goes in by affidavit, the affiant must be presented for cross examination. In this case, since the party lives in Denmark, it was requested that the cross examination take place by Skype. Justice Murray recognized that evidence at trial should be presented orally. However, modern technology, such as Skype, allows instant communication, does not seriously hamper cross examination and allows the judge to observe the demeanour of the witnesses. There are a number of cases on this issue and they were reviewed by Justice Murray. In the end, Skype was allowed. A step toward a new technological age in the court!

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