The Role of Technology in eCourts

No matter what you’re doing or what you need to have done, you cannot expect to get far without using the relevant technology to speed up the process. Why do you think local libraries have had to evolve to avoid becoming obsolete? Hardly anyone has the time nowadays to leaf through hundreds of pages of information when they can just turn on their computer and find it nearly instantly. This is why technology has had such a huge impact on us in so many areas.

The legal field has also been affected by the onset of the digital age. Courtrooms around the country are being drastically revamped to survive in a new society that sees paper as being more of a nuisance than commodity. Testimonies conducted from remote locations, digital evidence presentations, PC monitors meant to facilitate both judge and jury are not distant dreams any longer.

A wireless courtroom might still seem like something right out of a sci-fi movie but it’s actually very real. Courtrooms around the globe are getting into the new digital age by reinventing the way they dole out justice to save time and reduce costs simultaneously. The movement has also compelled several other courtrooms to adopt this technological trend so that they remain up-to-date with their own brand of justice.

There is a reason why these high-tech courtrooms are regarded as the future for both judges and lawyers. Using cameras for instance allows the public an opportunity to get a glimpse at live proceedings but this isn’t a new phenomenon per se. Those doors had been opened before to allow the world a glimpse at one of the most infamous trials of all time. 15 years ago, thousands of viewers across the US tuned in to their televisions to watch the OJ Simpson trial unfold before their very eyes via live broadcast.

The new age has heralded quite a barrage of this technology. While some provinces in Canada show reluctance to implement these new reforms, courtrooms across the United States have already embraced live video streaming for various uses, including plea bargains, bail hearings and other courtroom proceedings, in a bid to be transparent with the justice system.

However, not all courtrooms in the states allow camera usage during trials. Florida was one of the first states to seriously review allowing cameras back into the courtroom in 1970. The experiment was conducted not as a means to allow the world in once again, but to allow the court officials a record of the proceedings for future reference. However, the condition was that the cameras had to be unobtrusive as possible which is why the court allows only one photographer per trial.

We’re obviously in the early stages of digital courtroom era and it’ll be interesting to see what developments will follow in the years to come.

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