Djokovic hearing: technology supports seamless court performance

When Novak Djokovic, the number one tennis player in the world, recently tried to bypass pandemic immigration laws and enter Melbourne to compete in the Australian Open, his subsequent court cases, detention and all-night appeals were highly publicised.


The saga culminated with an all-night session including his legal team and three judges, who ultimately decided that it was appropriate for Immigration Minister Alex Hawke to cancel Djokovic’s visa and issue a deportation order.


The Australian legal system’s decision generated global media attention for several days. In particular, the final late-night court session was intensively covered, with minute by minute updates being reported across the world.


What was less publicised is the litigation management technology that helped facilitate the eventual, expedited ruling.


One such example was the technology and human power involved in converting the spoken word to text in near real time and made instantly available to multiple stakeholders.


The transcript was built progressively throughout proceedings, with a less than 3-second delay for text to be available.


The dynamic transcript was able to be shared in real time with legal counsel on both sides, either in court or in remote locations.


Users were able to annotate text, highlight inconsistencies, and facilitate research whilst the matter was still in session. The technology platform also allows the transcript data to be searched to find key words, phrases, or specific time points in an audio file. Traditionally this would have meant playing back a recording to find a statement or observation, so in this case it was critical to the rapid legal outcome.


In the Djokovic case, the proceedings were complex and involved multiple speakers across a variety of mediums – both physically and virtually present. With the aid of advanced technologies such as those utilised for this matter, the proceedings and final decision were able to be dealt with quickly and efficiently.


Given the global interest, speed and efficiency was of paramount importance to all involved, and VIQ Solutions are proud to have been able to deliver this specialised technology and service offering to the Federal Courts of Australia.