Legal history will be made today when judges in the Inner House of the Court of Session (the highest civil court in Scotland) will hear the appeal in the case of independence blogger, Stuart Campbell's, defamation action against former Scottish Labour leader, Kezia Dugdale.
The appeal will be heard in a virtual court before three judges after both parties to the action agreed to the process. There will be no wigs and gowns in one court, instead lawyers and judges will access proceedings remotely using video technology.
This marks a real change in the way in which justice could be delivered in the Scottish courts allowing greater accessibility to the court system without appearance in person.
I would hope that it will also cut down on the costs of litigations and legal advisors travelling to courts.
The Chief Executive of the Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service has announced that he is in discussion with courts around the country to assess what business can be carried out remotely. This would be welcome news for many litigants who have seen cases grind to a halt in the current climate. Quite rightly the courts have to focus on urgent and emergency business, but it does seem we might be reaching a point that the technology is there to support a more virtual forum for determining legal disputes.
Some might ask why this couldn't have been done before, but it is often the case that unprecedented events shake us out of the normal and force us to look for new and innovative solutions.
I believe that this is a great step forward for our legal system even if it is born out of the most challenging and trying of times.
"We are currently in discussion with sheriffs principal and the Law Society for Scotland on the scope of urgent and essential civil business in sheriff courts, to assess whether other business can be carried out remotely and what phased steps can be taken."