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University of Bath

Transmitting Justice: Transparency, Visualisation and Mediation

Considering the impact of new technologies such as the virtual court, transmission of proceedings and use of as-live evidence on court processes and justice.

Statue of justice against a blue sky
Exploring justice in the digital era

The criminal courtroom is undergoing a shift wherein its outcomes are now more readily available to the public via digital media, and its processes and practices are increasingly likely to rely on audio-visual technology. From the move towards online courts, to the increased reliance on photographic evidence, from the recent introduction of courtroom broadcasting to the use of live-link video for witness testimony, the twenty-first century courtroom is steadily moving into a virtual realm.

This project is comprised of a one-day symposium which will explore the emergence, implications, and impact of these new technologies of transmission in the courtroom.

Discussion focussed on three inter-related topics:

  • the as-live transmission of court and inquiry proceedings via tweets and video footage
  • the use of live link technology and visual evidence in criminal trials
  • the move towards online adjudication and sanctions (the so-called ‘virtual courtroom’)

In creating a space to consider these important developments alongside one another, the symposium seeks to develop shared insights around the key themes of transparency, visuality, and mediatisation. A key concern will be what’s lost (if anything) in the turn towards visual and digital technologies in the courtroom, and the effects of mediation on jurors, witnesses, defendants, and the public.

Project output

One day symposium in London, December 2018.

Project team