Glitchy screens, ‘cat lawyers’ and hot mics: The perils of Zoom courts

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When COVID-19 was declared a pandemic more than a year ago, physical courtrooms across Canada and around the world closed, doing their part to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
In response, court proceedings at all levels went online using pre-existing platforms, including Zoom. This “new normal” will persist as long as the pandemic does, and some have even predicted there’s no going back.
While the change has many benefits, it also raises many concerns, and courts must be prepared to address these issues to ensure the integrity and accessibility of the justice system.
Accessing Zoom court can be particularly difficult for self-represented and socially vulnerable litigants who find themselves on the wrong side of the digital divide with respect to access to technology, reliable internet access and the skills needed to negotiate videoconferencing technologies.

This content has been updated on 14 December 2021 at 14 h 22 min.