CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dutton on Virtual Witness Confrontation in Piracy Trials

Dutton yvonneYvonne Dutton (Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law) has posted Virtual Witness Confrontation in Criminal Cases: A Proposal to Use Videoconferencing Technology in Maritime Piracy Trials (Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, Vol. 45, p. 1283, 2012) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Maritime piracy is a serious problem, yet states are not prosecuting captured pirates with any regularity. One of the many reasons cited to explain this phenomenon focuses on the expense and difficulty of mounting cases of such international proportions and which involve evidence, suspects, victims, and witnesses from around the globe. In an effort to help close the impunity gap that surrounds piracy, this Article offers a potential solution to the difficulties associated with obtaining live witness testimony. It proposes a rule to allow witnesses under some circumstances to testify remotely by way of two-way, live videoconferencing technology. While remote testimony need not become the norm in maritime piracy cases, the proposed rule is carefully structured to balance both the public’s and the defendant’s interest in a fair trial.

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