Keeping a watchful eye over Queensland courts

If you are a judge’s associate or court officer, you may already know them well: Auscript’s Central Monitoring – the team who help capture and manage the court recordings in Queensland and across Australia every day of the week.

They are part of Auscript’s operational frontline with an amazingly busy workday – and they wouldn’t have it any other way.

The team remotely supports courts throughout Queensland and Australia to ensure the clear and complete capture of recordings and courtroom communication. Integral to this is an exciting daily juggle of tasks, problem solving and communication with courtroom staff, associates, clerks and judicial officers in courts around the country.

So, what’s in a day – and how does it affect case recordings and transcripts?

The management and monitoring of courtroom recording is key to delivering a complete and accurate court record.

Starting at sunrise, the Auscript Central Monitoring team completes thorough sound checks of more than 400 courts across Australia including the Queensland Courts, Family Court of Australia, Federal Circuit Court of Australia, Federal Court of Australia and High Court of Australia. They ensure that courtroom proceedings are able to be captured with complete reliability, when the court commences for the day.

The majority of their day is spent crosschecking, logging and monitoring. Sophisticated electronic dashboards act as an interface to the technology solution in each courtroom allowing the team to monitor court recordings and ensure audio equipment and PC networks continue to operate without fault.

The team, located at Eight Mile Plains and in Brisbane City, remotely records and monitors all of Queensland’s DJAG courts and the Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Courts. That’s up to 4,000 matter sittings daily – ensuring the complete capture of court proceedings, logging commencements, confirming court details, and capturing information about the proceedings and adjournments. This allows all available audio to be uploaded to Court.FM and available to Auscript’s Audio Transcribers and Court Reporters on the same day.

Auscript’s secure online messaging service allows instant, two-way communication with hundreds of associates and court officers. During all of this, the team are always on hand to help with things such as checking audio quality when a witness testifies by phone or video link.

Of course, technology helps enormously, with Auscript’s innovation leading to proactive monitoring of courtroom technology systems. This offers confidence in the recording process with early and prompt identification of any issues, without comprising the court record.

According to Auscript’s Court Recording Supervisor, Sharon Johnston, it is high-adrenalin work that the team loves, and every day is a challenge with unique obstacles to overcome.

“It’s meticulous and well-orchestrated, demanding composure and good reflexes! We have fantastic systems and we’re here to support courts anywhere, anytime – which is core to client satisfaction and vital to producing the best recordings and quality transcripts every day.”

A year in numbers: Central Monitoring Team

·        Total number of courtrooms captured: 51,610

·        Total number of recordings captured: 162,221

·        Total number of Queensland cases captured: 641,732

·        Total number of sound checks performed: 320,000 individual channels