People hearing without listening

by Vault Law Editors | October 21, 2009

  • My Vault

The jury system needs to be updated for the internet age, suggests the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales. Children no longer “learn by listening to people talking at them,” says Lord Judge, according to a story in today’s Times. (And yes, his name is really Judge.) They rely on computer screens, and a system that depends on jurors “listening to people speaking, listening and thinking about what they are hearing and assimilating it and then assessing it” will soon be unworkable, contends Lord Judge. “If a generation is going to arrive in the jury box that is totally unused to sitting and listening but is using technology to gain the information it needs to form a judgment, that changes the whole orality tradition with which we are familiar.”

Whether a change from “orality” to technology will improve jurors’ ability to form valid judgments is questionable. (Other drawbacks to jurors’ typing and tweeting have been documented elsewhere.) But at least one man believes that a digitally created “e-memory” that we hang around our neck is better than what we store in our old-fashioned biological brains.

- posted by vera

Filed Under: Law

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