A Colombian court holds a hearing in the metaverse.
This month, a Colombian court held its first legal trial in the metaverse. Officials told Reuters that the court now wants to try out virtual reality again.
At the two-hour hearing, the people involved in a traffic dispute showed up as avatars in a virtual courtroom. The hearing was held by Colombia’s Magdalena Administrative court. The avatar of Magistrate Maria Quinones Triana was a black-robed lawyer.
The country is one of the first in the world to try out real legal hearings in the metaverse. The metaverse is a type of immersive virtual reality that makes digital spaces feel more real.
Quiones told Reuters on Friday that the metaverse was “amazing” and that it felt more real than a video call. “Many people turn off their cameras, and you don’t know what they’re doing,” she said about Zoom.
Quiones said that part of the case, which was brought against the police by a regional transport union, will now take place in the metaverse. This could include the verdict. She didn’t rule out hearings in other parts of the metaverse.
“This is an academic experiment to show that it’s possible,” she said. “But if everyone agrees, my court can keep doing things in the metaverse.”
Even though Zoom and Google are hosting more and more video meetings for legal trials, few people have tried out the metaverse, a space that Meta, Microsoft, and other tech giants are racing to build.
Early examples of interviews and meetings in the metaverse were made fun of because they were often hard to understand and looked like cartoons.
Still, Colombia’s court proceedings on February 15, which were streamed on YouTube, went off without too many problems, except for some shaky camera work and distorted movements.
Quiones said that the virtual court was legal according to the Constitution, but he also said that the experiment wasn’t very popular because 70% of viewers didn’t like it.
Juan David Gutierrez, a professor of public policy at the University of Rosario in Colombia, said that using the metaverse in court has a long way to go.
“To do this, you need a piece of hardware that not many people have. This raises questions about how easy it is to get justice and how fair things are, “Reuters asked him about it.
Quiones agreed that it was important to talk about costs and access. But she pushed for the metaverse, where people can share a space without having to be in the same place at the same time.
Gutierrez said that judges in Colombia were looking for ways to deal with the fact that the country’s justice system was too busy.
“We give ourselves the idea that technology will make things easier, but sometimes it does the opposite.”