Benchmarking the use of audiovisual link technologies in Australian criminal courts before the pandemic

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Abstract

This report is the second published by the AIC arising from its national video courts research program (the AVL Project) and documents the development and implementation of AVL (audiovisual link) technologies in the criminal courts in Australia, before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in late 2019. An accompanying report assesses the practical and legal considerations that need to be taken into account when adopting AVL technologies in the criminal courts (Smith, Savage & Emami 2021). In 2017, 196 criminal cases in the largest states were observed by AIC researchers in person for the purposes of documenting the operation of systems in practice. Although there is some variability in the maturity of AVL systems in different jurisdictions, it is clear that they now occupy a central role in the administration of criminal justice throughout Australia—particularly since the onset of the pandemic. This report identifies a number of advantages and limitations of the technologies used and offers some practical solutions that could help to make systems more efficient and fairer for all involved.