Case Study: The Department of Justice

Client Profile

After completing an initial upgrade of the State Administrative Tribunal building (located in Perth, Australia), Hewshott were engaged to deliver the next stage of the project. This marked the first collaboration between Hewshott and the Department of Justice (DoJ), and it became Hewshott’s most significant undertaking at the time.

The primary objective was to enhance the usability and reliability of the AV technology in the courtroom environment and bring the technology in line with modern standards.

Additionally, the project involved relocating to a new building within the Cathedral Square Precinct, to combine contemporary high-quality office accommodation integrated with state-of-the-art sustainable technology.

Client Challenge

The court AV systems were based on legacy designs developed over many years. The relocation to a new building was an opportunity to reassess the fundamentals of the technical design, and effect wholesale changes.

During an equipment failure, the disruption to proceedings lead to time loss and frustration for all those involved. Restoring the technology to an operational state often required the work and time of multiple individuals.

The increased adoption of digital systems made legacy analogue technologies increasingly outdated, eventually rendering them redundant. This required significant cost and maintenance, bringing the question of value for money and return on investment. 

Hewshott’s Solution

Our approach was to collaborate with the design team and devise a solution to improve the usability and reliability of the AV technology in the courtroom environment.

The main requirement was to standardise, as much as possible, the equipment in the courtroom, bring it into the digital domain and lock the equipment down.  This meant each court had the same technology solution and it was all delivered over IP and centralised.  This created a flexible multi-purpose AV system in each of the 49 courts and hearing rooms that can receive evidence from witnesses across WA, as well as interstate and internationally.

To achieve this, the entire AV system is managed in a dedicated AV control room, allowing technicians visibility of all courts.  With the complex part of the technology principally located outside the courtroom, delivering a robust, flexible, and up-to-date service that is efficiently supported by technicians without entering the courts became possible.

Maintenance and support also shifted from a physical process to virtual and electronic methods via a control room and the IT network.  Future AV support is aligned to the current IT support model whereby PCs on desks are accessed and repaired remotely. Consequently, any potential issues can be swiftly addressed, minimising interruption.

Notably, it was the first-time AV over IP was used by courts, enabling up to 16 video conferences to be tested in the control room prior to routing across any of the 49 court rooms.

Project Barriers

The constant evolution of technology in any environment requires continuous improvement to assess and develop solutions and services to meet the ever-increasing technically complex and demanding requirements. AV solutions and services are an example of increased adoption of technology in almost every area of business.

The court environment is no exception, with the project spanning over 5 years, and a concern over change being one of the biggest challenges.  We needed to work hard to get personnel on board, and comfortable with the new technology direction.

The expertise required to deliver this complex, forward thinking solution was handled by Hewshott, where we were responsible for the entire system design as well as managing the project.

Project Highlights

The most significant highlight for us, demonstrating our capability, is that these systems have now been replicated across the entire court system in WA, and further afield.

Hewshott successfully advised us to move from an outdated analogue system to a fully digital one, which allowed functionality not experienced before.

…’an innovative and well received business solution.’

…’an advanced, bespoke AV solution that enhances the experience of the user as well as caters for continuous improvement.’

The Client

Following this project, Hewshott has continued to work on multiple projects for the same client varying in size from small offices to complete buildings.

“To us, it’s silence after it’s all handed over —no phone calls, no e-mails, and no letters. If we achieve that, we have done our job properly because it means you are using the systems and solutions that we have designed as intended, fault–free and you are concentrating on your business.”

Peter Hunt
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