Oral testimony is still the conventional way in which evidence is given in courts and administrative hearings. Persons who live in rural or remote areas and those with disabilities sometimes face significant physical, mental, and economic hardship if they must attend court or tribunal proceedings and give evidence in person. These disadvantages can be severe enough amount to barriers to access to justice, but they can be removed or reduced in many cases through effective use of technology.
British Columbia was one of the first jurisdictions to introduce videoconferencing and other technological innovations in its courts and tribunals. There is a need nevertheless to increase the level of knowledge on the part of counsel and other members of the legal community about technologies that can be employed to overcome difficulties that residents of remote areas and individuals with disabilities face as participants in legal processes.
The Technology, Remoteness, Disability and Evidence Project is intended to address this need. It has the following objectives:
- to create practice support materials for the use of the legal community about assistive technology and communications systems that can be used to overcome geographical, physical, and attitudinal barriers to full and effective participation in legal proceedings by persons in remote locations or who have disabilities; and
- to identify and recommend ways to remove remaining legal barriers to the beneficial and effective use of assistive and other technology in court and tribunal proceedings.
This project is generously funded by The Law Foundation of British Columbia.
Below you will find additional, relevant and specific documentation, backgrounders, research, resources, media releases and summaries that have been, or will be incorporated into our final publications and study papers.
If you have questions about these or other specific documents, please reach out to BCLI using our contact page or at the bottom of each page of our website.