Interim Guidelines on the Conduct of Videoconference Hearing Within the Embassy's Premises JSD-2022-04
The Embassy informs the public that pursuant to Part IV of the Supreme Court Administrative Circular No. 20-12-01-SC, persons ordered by a Philippine Trial Court to appear before videoconference hearings (VCH) may attend the said VCH within the premises of the Philippine Embassy at 50 Hobson St., Thorndon, Wellington 6011, New Zealand.
In view of this, the public is further advised of the following procedures in securing an appointment:
A. PROCEDURE FOR REQUEST
1. Prior to the submission of the motion to the relevant court, requesting parties, through their counsel shall transmit a letter of request to the Department of Foreign Affairs Office of Treaties and Legal Affairs (DFA-OTLA) (firstname.lastname@example.org), copy furnished/cc’d the Philippine Embassy in New Zealand (email@example.com). The request must indicate the following:
a. The nature of the case;
b. The proposed dates and time for the conduct of videoconferencing that should be scheduled at least one (1) month after filing the request;
c. The name, nationality and contact details of the party who agreed to attend and participate in the VCH as well as the requesting counsel, and the details of the court where the case is pending;
d. An undertaking to do the following:
i. pay the prescribed fees to DFA and/or the Embassy, if any, for the conduct of VCH;
ii. comply with the Embassy/host country’s health and security measures;
iii. notify parties concerned and make them aware of arrangements, such as VCH schedule, time zone differences, and such other relevant matters; and,
iv. provide all necessary equipment, including internet access, and if necessary, interpreters, for the VCH.
The letter should be addressed to the DFA official named below:
The Hon. IGOR G. BAILEN
Office of Treaties and Legal Affairs
Department of Foreign Affairs
3/F DFA Building, 2330 Roxas Boulevard
1300 Pasay City, Philippines
Tel.: 8 831 8890 / 8 834 3763
Fax: 8 832 5339
Upon receipt of the letter of request, the Embassy shall comment on the acceptability of the proposed schedule of the videoconferencing hearing, and indicate the name of the consular officer who will assist in the hearing. Such information will be conveyed by the Embassy directly to the requesting party through email.
The requesting party may only proceed with filing the necessary Motion in Court to issue the Order for the VCH after the proposed date and time of the videoconferencing have been secured from the Embassy. A copy of the Order shall be submitted as soon as available through email to these addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org copy furnished/cc’d: email@example.com.
B. DUTY OF THE PERSON/S APPEARING BEFORE THE VIDEOCONFERENCE HEARING WITHIN THE EMBASSY PREMISES
The person/s appearing before the videoconference shall:
- Arrive at the Embassy at least one (1) hour before the scheduled time;
- Dress appropriately;
- Conduct himself/herself in an appropriate manner;
- Abide by the prevailing health and security protocols of the Embassy and the host country; and
Present a valid passport for the purpose of identification.
The Embassy reserves the right to exercise full jurisdiction over the person/s appearing before the videoconference hearing in order to maintain peace and order inside its premises.
Due to limited space and the prevailing health and security protocols, public access to VCH inside Embassy premises shall be limited only to the person/s appearing before the VCH.
C. DUTY OF THE CONSULAR OFFICER
If requested by the Presiding Judge, the duty of the Consular Officer attending to the hearing shall be limited only to verifying the identity of the persons appearing before the videoconference hearing through their valid identification document. The Consular Officer may not perform any other act unless with prior written consent of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
For other queries on this matter, the Philippine Embassy may be reached via email: firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone number: (+644) 890-3741 / 42 / 44 and mobile number: (+64) 22-074-6517.