Courts are tasked to provide effective administration of justice in a qualitative fashion: the efficiency of justice lies in its ability to settle disputes within a reasonable time, at sensible costs. Videoconference testimonials are changing the practice of law, as is cyberjustice as a whole. Courts are faced with increasing costs and delays, and videoconferencing provides a practical solution to improve efficiency, promptness and from a financial standpoint is a great cost-saving measure. Technology has transformed almost every aspect of our day to day lives, and it is critical for the legal system to move forward technologically, this includes innovative ways of taking evidence and testimonies. The traditional courtroom setting where witnesses testify in person rather than videoconference is progressively being challenged as time goes on. These challenges may enhance the opportunity for a fair hearing when used as a response for a particular need. To keep up with our ever evolving world, videoconferencing and technology in the justice system should be implemented in the modern courtroom.
The main concern legislatures and justices face is whether or not videoconference testimonials violate the standards of procedural fairness. However, it has been reiterated by courts at every level that the fundamental principle of procedural fairness is habitually met when the hearing is ensued by videoconference instead of an in person testimony, considering a substantial difference between the two does not exist. Legislation has evolved over time and has made certain steps towards accepting videoconference testimonies, such as the adoption of section 714 of the Criminal Code, nevertheless there still seems to be taboo surrounding remote video testimony and other uses of cyberjustice in the courtroom. Understandably there should always be some caution when introducing a new practice, however it is important to note that when videoconferencing is properly and carefully implemented in the appropriate situations it can actually be quite advantageous towards settling disputes for a number of reasons.
Procedural fairness is considered to be the foundation of administrative law, thus its protection is valid; the rules of natural justice and the right to be judged objectively are fundamental to our justice system. However, we cannot deny a procedure that has been proven to be effective and may lead to greater access to justice when implemented correctly. Videoconferencing should always be considered as a response to a particular need and not the standard for all future testimonies, as this would infringe court traditions and damage the aspect of humanity in our court rooms. At the same time, the evolution of technology affects society on every level, and for our justice system to be effective it must evolve with the world around it.
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