Interpreters in Court

Criminal trials often hinge on the credibility of witnesses, whether they are victims, defendants or experts. Witnesses who testify through an interpreter may face an extra challenge – the credibility of the interpreter. This study will show how changing the social and technological conditions of interpereters affects the way witnesses are perceived by judges and juries. It measures the impact of providing interpreters with wireless technology, improving their status, and changing their position in the courtroom. It provides a model for introducing new technologies to improve access to services for justice users, using experimental simulations in realistic settings.

Gateways to Justice: improving video-mediated communications for justice participants

Justice hearings are increasingly likely to employ video communication facilities to provide access for remote participants. This project brings together a critical mass of researchers from seven disciplines together with courts, prosecutors, police and technology companies to develop best practice guidelines for introducing new video technologies. The project tests the impact of technological change on participants’ sense of presence and the effectiveness of communication; the impact of social and environmental changes; and their combined effects. Real courtroom environments are modified, based on the results of the experiments, and impacts of the changes on users are measured and analysed.

This project is funded by the Australian Research Council as a Linkage project.  Lead investigator is Professor David Tait.

Juries and Interactive Visual Evidence (JIVE)

This project measures the impact of interactive displays on the trial processes, specifically how computer simulations and 360 degree crime scene reconstructions may better inform juries, but potentially increase prejudice against defendants.
The project brings in the key players as industry partners – police, prosecutors and judges – working alongside academic experts in law, architecture, media studies, psychology and criminology. Blending observation and experimental approaches, the study tracks how jurors in simulated court settings use visual evidence in making decisions, and identifies ways of using interactive technologies most effectively, while minimizing negative impacts.

This project is funded by the Australian Research Council as a Linkage project.  Lead investigator is Professor David Tait.