One of the big successes in videoconferencing has been its use in judicial courts. The federal courts have long been using the technology for such things as arraignments, bail hearings, post-conviction hearings, and appellate court arguments. Washington and Lee University Law school faculty Aaron Haas notes that in 1972 an Illinois court used videophones to conduct bail hearings, and in 1983, Dade County, Florida, began using videoconferencing in misdemeanor arraignments. In 1995 the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR) began a test program for videoconferencing in immigration courts in three cities. A year later, the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Removal Act (1996) made it possible for removal proceedings to be conducted “through videoconference.”
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Videoconferencing advocates have been raving about the money, and more importantly, the time saved using videoconferencing. It has particularly come in handy in court arraignments which are the rather cursory first hearings that get the trial process started. (It’s usually a person’s first appearance in court after being arrested so he/she can hear the charges against them.) The problem with arraignments is that they involve Continue reading →
Maybe it’s the $4 per gallon gas prices or perhaps people are tired of traveling 6-8 hours for one 45-minute meeting. Maybe it’s the advances in networking technologies and services or the pricking of our environmental consciences. Maybe it’s because the world really is a global village today or because we’re in the middle of a communication revolution. Whatever the reason, videoconferencing is gaining momentum in all kinds of fields, not just your typical corporate business.
Despite concerns about the fairness and validity of using videoconferencing in judicial proceedings, videoconferencing is being widely used in courts in many countries today including Australia, Slovenia, Malaysia, India, Hungary, England, and France. In the U.S., it has been used since before Continue reading →