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Virtual courts and putting 'Summary' back into 'Summary Justice': Merely brief, or unjust?

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... This study underlines the importance of acknowledging that technology is not transparent (Lanzara, 2010) and, far from being a neutral insertion, its use fundamentally alters the nature of court proceedings (Rowden, 2013). That videolink appearances disrupt or alter experts' performances should trouble experts and those who call them. ...
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This article reports on empirical research conducted into the use of audiovisual links (videolinks) to take expert testimony in jury trials. Studies reveal ambivalent attitudes to court use of videolink, with most previous research focussed on its use for vulnerable witnesses and defendants. Our study finds there are issues unique to expert witnesses appearing by videolink, such as compromised ability to gesture and interact with exhibits and demonstrative tools, and reductions in availability of feedback to gauge juror understanding. Overall, the use of videolinks adds an additional cognitive load to the task of giving expert evidence. While many of these issues might be addressed through environmental or technological improvements, we argue this research has broader ramifications for expert witnesses and the courts. The use of videolinks for taking expert evidence exposes the contingent nature of expertise and the cultural scaffolding inherent in its construction. In reflecting on the implications of these findings, and on the way that reliability, credibility and expertise are defined and established in court, we suggest a more critical engagement with the relationship between content and mode of delivery by stakeholders.
... The significance of judicial space also lies in the fact that its ornamental, oratorical and architectural features lead to semiotics of law within courtroom space [15,25,87]. Rowden [66] has argued that judicial space is not a 27 This interpretation can be said to be the result of the Habeas Corpus case, (ADM Jabalpur v. Shivkant Shukla AIR 1976 SC 1207) where the SCI pronounced the pro-government judgment with 4:1 majority. 28 Kannabiran [33] has also argued regarding the placing of a Manu statue in the precincts of the Rajasthan High Court and the controversy around it that whether statues have only decorative value or do they also symbolise and represent something. ...
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The neutrality of the art and architecture of courtrooms and courthouses has dominated the public perception in the Indian context. The courtroom design and the visual artistic elements present within these judicial places have very often been considered to be insignificant to the notions of law and justice that they reflect. As art and architecture present certain historical narratives, reflect political allegories and have significant impact on the perceptions of their viewers, they have critical socio-political ramifications. This makes it pertinent to explore them and investigate the paradox of their deployment and interpretation in today’s increasingly mediatized world. Through an ethnographic study of the Supreme Court of India, this paper interprets its art and architecture, and, the symbolism and semiotics reflected through them. Arguing against their neutrality and insignificance, the paper demonstrates how they reflect nationalism, certain ideologies and power-space dynamics. It further argues that they act as evidence of political metaphors related to justice, power and democracy. With a conversation between law, architecture and semiotics, the paper investigates the historical and spatial dimensions of its architecture and artistic elements. Mapping the Court’s architectural elements, I examine how the visual representation of ‘justice as virtue’ finds translation in its design through transfer of certain images, including the image of the ‘scales of justice’, into it, while absenting the notion of ‘justice as struggle’—to contemplate on how legal architecture gives evidence to the vexed relationship between law and justice and also of the break from the colonial past
... Many countries have adopted it, including the United States, Canada, Australia, Great Britain, Italy and the Netherlands (Lanzara and Patriotta, 2001;Lederer, 2005;Wallace, 2008;Henning and Ng, 2009). Some publications (Babcock and Johansen, 2011;Biolley, 2013;Bossan, 2011;Braun, 2013;Danet, 2010;Diamond et al., 2010;Dumoulin and Licoppe, 2013;Gertner, 2004;Garofano, 2007;Henning and Ng, 2009;Kodek, 2012;Rowden, 2013;Salyzyn, 2012;Wallace, 2008) have identified several major areas of concern with the use of videoconferencing, in particular in the field of criminal law (Dumoulin and Licoppe, 2016: 315-318). ...
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Filming and transmitting hearings on the one hand, and conducting them by videoconferencing on the other, are generally addressed through different issues and analytical lenses. In this paper we have used the French experience to show that, in fact, the two activities have some features in common. We have tried to highlight the real but discreet empirical connections between them in France and to underscore a few convergent issues with regard to the concept of a trial and the various conceptions of both presence at and participation in a hearing, as well as of publicness.
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