On February 15, 2023, the Magdalena Administrative Court in Colombia made history by hosting the world’s first legal trial in the metaverse. The trial, which lasted for two hours, was held to resolve a traffic dispute between a regional transport union and the police. The court’s verdict could also be given in the metaverse, marking a major step forward in the virtualization of legal proceedings.
The participants in the trial appeared as avatars in a virtual courtroom, with the court magistrate, Maria Quinones Triana, dressed in traditional black legal robes. Quinones commented to Reuters that the experience felt “more real than a video call,” highlighting the potential for metaverse technology to transform the way we interact with each other and conduct legal proceedings.
Colombia’s pioneering trial follows recent research that suggests a growing interest in the metaverse and its potential impact on society. A survey released by CoinWire on January 16 found that 69% of respondents believe that the metaverse will eventually modify social lifestyles due to new approaches taken for entertainment and activities. It is therefore possible that virtual court trials may become more common in the future, especially in cases where the physical presence of all parties involved is not possible.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) has also recognized the potential of the metaverse, having recently boasted about its metaverse experiences. In January 2023, the WEF hosted its own 3D immersive digital sessions called the “Global Collaboration Village,” allowing delegates to experience the forum in their own virtual metaverse. The WEF’s involvement in the metaverse highlights the increasing interest from institutions and organizations in exploring the possibilities of this technology.
As the metaverse continues to grow and develop, it is likely that we will see more use cases emerge, including legal proceedings. The Colombia trial has demonstrated that the metaverse can offer an immersive and effective environment for conducting court trials. While it may take time for the legal industry to fully adopt metaverse technology, the potential benefits in terms of accessibility, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness are clear. The future of legal proceedings may be more virtual than we ever imagined.
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