Court Adaptations during COVID-19 in the World's Two Largest Democracies
9 Pages Posted: 26 May 2020
Date Written: May 24, 2020
Physical distancing measures to mitigate COVID-19 have significantly disrupted the judiciaries of both the United State and India. Courts are strained by an increased case backlog during and immediately after pandemics, as they receive more incoming cases and are less able to process them. Public safety interventions and economic decline cause the caseload to increase. The rate at which courts process cases, known as their disposal rate, decreases as in-person courtroom procedures are interrupted due to physical distancing requirements. Since the start of COVID-19, disposal rates have remained relatively high in the United States while they have plummeted in India. This article explores the main reasons for this difference, particularly the role of virtual courts. It also analyzes the benefits of virtual courts as well as their challenges, including data security and privacy, connectivity and remote access to files, and accountability to the public.
Keywords: Coronavirus, courts, judiciary, India, United States, virtual courts, technology, pandemic
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