Australian Research Council report on tech-supported remote participation in court proceedings

A long-awaited Australian Research Council report on technology-supported remote participation in court proceedings has been published:

Emma Rowden, Anne Wallace, David Tait, Mark Hanson and Diane Jones: Gateways to Justice: Design and operational guidelines for remote participation in court proceedings (2013).

Here is a summary:

This report details the findings and recommendations of a three-year Australian Research Council Linkage Project Gateways to Justice: improving video-mediated communication for justice participants … led by Professor David Tait of the Justice Research Group, University of Western Sydney. This project set out to investigate whether the use of videolinks in justice settings was achieving its objectives and to make recommendations to improve its use, with a particular focus on the use of videolinks to take evidence in court.

This study found that current practices do not necessarily ensure that the benefits promised by new technologies are being realised to their full extent. As courts are recognising the need for a holisitic approach in other areas of their operations, this report confirms that the use of this technology should be considered within a framework that includes:

  • The legislation guiding its use;
  • The built environment in the courtroom and in the remote location;
  • Court processes, protocols and rituals;
  • Training regimes provided for courts staff, lawyers and judicial officers;
  • The design and configuration of the videolink technology itself.

This research found that remote court participation is more likely to be successful if each of these elements are designed to complement one another.

For more details, please see the complete report.

HT Jim McMillan at Court Technology Bulletin

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