The Digitisation of the Courtroom: a step into the 21st century
How is technology evolving UK courtrooms?
Although the use of surveillance cameras is not a new concept, with the use of CCTV and traffic cameras being an accepted aspect of society, the Ministry of Justice is modernising courtrooms to facilitate the effective use of digital evidence in courtroom proceedings.
Come July 2016 all courts in the UK are expected to be in full digital operation with the introduction of digital screens to display evidential footage. This effort in creating a contemporary justice system has been coupled with a programme in which police officers will wear body cameras to capture footage of crime scenes, thus providing an independent, objective witness to the events within cases.
This initiative is working towards improving the efficiency of the criminal judiciary system by quickening the pace of court cases with the use of irrefutable video evidence. We are expected to see a subsequent reduction in paperwork and increased accuracy in determining facts from witness statements through the supporting evidence of a verifiable digital record of events.
Despite the benefit of providing the UK justice system with the tools to determine, without bias, case events there is an unsurprising concern over the publics right to privacy.
Emma Carr, the Deputy Director of Big Brother Watch – a civil liberties campaign group, has expressed concerns regarding the potential for this scheme to undermine trust between the public and the police. She has further suggested in interviews that the police have misdirected their attention by focusing on utilising cameras when in fact tackling the root cause of society’s anti-social behaviour would be more effective.
Big Brother Watch has conducted a ‘Time for Transparency’ campaign, publishing a paper called ‘Enhancing surveillance transparency: A UK policy framework’ in which a UK poll conducted in October 2013 found 66% of respondents wanted the government to publish more information regarding how their surveillance powers are used. The paper expresses the belief that “transparency data should allow the public to understand which bodies are using what legal powers, for what purpose and to what extent they lead to successful prosecutions”.
The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 is summarised in one line by The Guardian as “an act making provisions for covert surveillance and access to communications records by public bodies”. The proposed programme of introducing front-line police officer body cameras is in accordance with RIPA, however the Big Brother Watch group has previously claimed that RIPA does not offer appropriate protection against the misuse of surveillance privileges.
The modernisation of courtrooms is not only necessary but also essential in remaining current. The use of police cameras is not a surprising step to be taken in order to uphold justice within the courtroom. With police camera schemes in the past making the greatest impact on cases of domestic abuse and rules regarding non-evidential footage being deleted after a predetermined period of time has passed – this could be the beginning of a more effective justice system in the UK.
Considering that the legal aid reform has consequentially resulted in a rise in self-representation in the courtroom – victims to crime may be relieved to have police video footage facilitating the prosecution of the offender.
Image source: mediaforlaw.co.uk
I wonder if we will get to the stage where mobile law apps are used in courtrooms!?
Or imagine if court bundles were electronic and judges could view court documents on a tablet! The courtroom could be so much more efficient if it uses technology!
Hello i am Merissa, its my first occasion to commenting anywhere, when i read this post i thought i could comment due to this good piece of writing!
I love this magazine.. very nice colours theme. Did you design this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?
Plz answer back as I’m looking to create my own website and I would like to find out where u got this
from. thanks a lot
The courtroom don’t need updating, we should keep tradition.
Hello there I am so excited I found your website, I really found you by
mistake, while I was searching on Google for something else,
Anyhow I am here now and would just like to say many thanks
for a marvelous post and a all round interesting blog (I also love the
theme/design), I don’t have time to go through it all at the moment but I have book-marked it
and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read more, Please do keep
up the great work.
You have made some really good points there. I looked on the net
to learn more about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this website.
Remarkable issues here. I’m very happy to see your post. Thank you so much.
Hi there, I log on to this magazine daily. Your story-telling style is
interesting, keep up the good work!
Hey There. I found your blog using man search engine.
This is a very well written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of
your useful info. Thanks for the post. I’ll certainly comeback.
I am truly grateful to the owwner of this web page who
has shareed this great post at aat this time.
I’m thoroughly enjoying this magazine.
I as well am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to the whole thing.
Do you have any points for rookie blog writers? I’d certainly appreciate it.
Our advice is to just start writing. You’ll learn so much about what you find interesting to write about and what your audience responds too through experimenting with different articles/posts. It’s a fun learning curve. Our take-away point would be to keep at it and not give up, you never know what opportunities may come your way from taking a chance.
The best advice for those new to blogging is to read other blogs. Work out what you like about your favourite blogs and write yours in a way that creates a similar effect for others + ask people for feedback!
What’s up mates, good post and nice arguments commented here, I am
actually enjoying these.
Everyone loves it when folks get together and share ideas.
Great website, continue the good work!