Online courts: an interesting possibility?

This is an interesting possibility for us. During our conception of the International Environmental Criminal Court (IECC) we’d been considering some rather grander mechanism, such as the International Criminal Court at The Hague, because the nature of the ‘crimes’ we are facing on our planet Earth are that important. Yet, we’ve always asked where does the common man or woman go for Environmental Justice, when governments deliberately prevent Justice from being done (through poor or complicated legislation, vested interests, or by making the court system too expensive for the disadvantaged ~ as Westminster has just done by scrapping large parts of the Legal Aid system)?

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/online-courts-modelled-on-ebay-to-settle-legal-disputes-10047780.html

In Britain, at least, we have had Small Claims Courts that deal with many of the minor situations that cannot be resolved without redress to the Law. Often simple matters, but each side in the dispute is adamant that they are correct and the opposition is wrong. The impartial summing up of the evidence is often enough to see fair play & Justice done.

So another possibility for us is to consider online courts, especially for low cost or small claims. Modern technology fits easily around this scenario. The article explains how such activities can work. The BA conducts all of its meetings and business online, so we know how easy this is. Documents are uploaded for review, revision & approval. We already have a database in place to manage our posts & comments; soon it will be recording membership and field projects. So we have the technological capability.

Personally, I’ve never used e-bay so have no idea how its dispute resolution works; but I have participated in an online trial via Skype. Residing in a very remote location it was not possible for witnesses to attend the High Court in the national capital. Despite poor internet bandwidth it was possible to establish reasonable links with the Judge, and most of what he needed to know was delivered online. So, again, it is possible. I’m very interested to hear your feedback on this as a way ahead. Thanks, Mike 🙂

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Michael White

About Michael White

Marine Zoologist specialising in endangered species and remote atoll research. I use modern science and Ethnozoology to provide culturally meaningful conservation projects, with a special focus on the sustainable use of natural resources and food sovereignty. "Tread gently on the Earth"

2 thoughts on “Online courts: an interesting possibility?

    1. Michael WhiteMichael White Post author

      Thank you Janos. You reminded me too of getting an Australian visa ~ all online. Some of the US ones are, but depends on a whole load of other factors. Mike

      So: digital IECC, especially for smaller cases. That would make it very easy to get countries onboard ~ if they didn’t have to have a building on their patch. Maybe Iceland will jump at the chance too I’m thinking Seen/Unseen’ Birgtta Jonsdottir (Pirate Party MP, and on the Environmental committee of the parliament; their support for Wikileaks etc). Then for larger cases we might find a suitable courthouse? Interesting too that this helps us be eco-friendly too ~ our paperless office. Mike

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