SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The nation’s busiest federal appeals court, which has a courthouse in San Francisco, is taking further steps to becoming a leader in the use of technology to increase public access to the judicial system.

Last month, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals launched live streaming video over the Internet of some proceedings. Now, it will also offer live audio streaming of all proceedings, accessible via the court’s website.

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Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, said it is a modern twist on a long tradition.

“This goes all the way back to the common law, 600 years,” he said. “The idea that the courts are open and the public can attend.”

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The audio streaming begins with oral arguments scheduled for January 6-9 at the Richard H. Chambers Courthouse in Pasadena. Live audio streaming will be provided for future oral arguments held in San Francisco, at the William K. Nakamura U.S. Courthouse in Seattle and the Pioneer Courthouse in Portland, Oregon.

Beginning last month, the Ninth Circuit became the first federal appellate court in the country to provide live video streaming, as it offered online viewing of five en banc proceedings in San Francisco. En banc proceedings are cases heard by before all the judges of the court. “We are working towards full audio and video streaming for all of our proceedings,” said Kozinski.

The Ninth Circuit hears appeals of cases in nine western states and two Pacific Island jurisdictions.

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