Virtual Witness Confrontation in Criminal Cases: A Proposal to Use Videoconferencing Technology in Maritime Piracy Trials
59 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2012 Last revised: 15 Dec 2012
Date Written: November 21, 2012
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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