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Towards a Distributed Courtroom

Digital technology is transforming all social life, including justice processes. This project has focused on the move towards virtual justice, where participants might be physically dispersed but present in one physical courtroom by audio and video technology. A team of academics across law, psychology and sociology, in partnership with justice, architecture and technology professionals have collaborated to develop a Distributed Courtroom model that tries to make the video-enabled hearing as similar as possible to a face-to-face hearing.

This report can be used to assist those developing general guidelines for practice in a distributed courtroom as well as those dealing with specific applications of these technologies.

Fortress or Sanctuary? Enhancing Court Safety by Managing People, Places and Processes

Security fears shape popular debates and government policies. They are also major issues for the design and management of courts. This report, carried out in partnership with several court systems in Australia and New Zealand, brings together the insights of court administrators and court users about the best way to create safe environments for all justice participants.

The report encourages those engaged in the administration and design of courts and tribunals to carefully analyse – for the specific place – the potential security risks and the potential safety opportunities (both physical and psychological) for each group of users and to evaluate a broad matrix of potential solutions which encompass physical, technological and operational elements.

2008 European Courts Tour Report

2008 European & International Courts Tour Report

The second tour, in 2008, included European and international courts in Strasbourg, Luxembourg and The Hague. The tour included an architectural design exercise in the Peace Palace where groups outlined their ideal courtroom configurations for hearings involving alleged war crimes, human rights violations and disputes between nations. A common theme of all the designs was an emphasis on placing justice spaces within a park or other natural setting.