The pandemic has greatly promoted the holding of court hearings in the form of video conferencing. In Germany, the corresponding provision (§ 128a ZPO) was amended to the effect that videoconferencing can also be ordered unilaterally by the court without obtaining the mutual consent of the parties. However, the judge must still appear at the court venue in order to ensure the publicity of the hearing.
In Italy, on the other hand, the judge is allowed to conduct the hearings from his own home (Legislative Decree 137 /2020, amendment Art. 221 para. 7 Law 34/2020).
As far as the editors are aware, it has not yet been decided whether the legal representatives may also be abroad. In the practice of our law firm, no judge, German or Italian, has so far expressed any concerns in this regard.
The national legislators will have to deal with this issue at the latest when the EU Regulation on the Taking of Evidence comes into force, if evidence is to be taken by videoconference also in other EU countries. The editors refer to our article on this subject under "News from Europe".