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Background

The UC e-Court was first opened in 1996. At the time, it was one of the first moot courts to incorporate modern technology in its design. Back then, Australian courtrooms were only beginning to install facilities such as videoconferencing, electronic document display, audiovisual recording and Internet access.

image - eCourtThe e-Court played a pioneering role in research in the field of court technology; for example:

  • it has been the site of several empirical research projects on the use of videoconferencing;
  • it has provided an excellent and realistic courtroom environment for several generations of law students participating in mooting and advocacy training;
  • it has even served as a real courtroom; the ACT Court of Appeal sat there in 2003 to hear its first electronic appeal.

The e-Court still fulfils these roles, while also functioning as a teaching space, as well as providing facilities for a range of external clients who use it for witness training, videoconferencing, and a meeting place.

image - The Hon Chief Justice Robert French AC

Following a complex upgrade, the refurbished e-Court was officially re-opened by the Hon Chief Justice Robert French AC, Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia, on Wednesday 16 June 2010. The upgrades and refurbishment have been enabled by a grant from the Better Universities Renewal Fund ($190,000) with the purpose of ensuring that the e-Court is keeping pace with changes in technology and the needs of our current generation of students and external clients. This has come at a time when the Faculty is giving renewed attention to advocacy training, and the incorporation of oral communication skills into the curriculum more generally. A particular focus of this upgrade has been in the installation of evidence display technology that can link both to a computer network in the courtroom, to the University wider network, and to the Internet.