Towards Visual and Audiovisual Evidence in Criminal Proceedings

Towards Visual and Audiovisual Evidence in Criminal Proceedings: Reflections on Regina Austin’s Article “Documentation, Documentary, and the Law: What Should be Made of Victim Impact Videos?” from the Standpoint of Multisensory Law and Therapeutic Jurisprudence.

Colette R. Brunschwig, MMR-Aktuell 2010, 308737:

Visual and audiovisual evidence is becoming increasingly important in civil and criminal proceedings. Since such evidence is still far from being understood, it has begun to attract greater interest among legal scholars and practitioners. Drawing upon the insights of multisensory law and therapeutic jurisprudence, this paper reflects on Regina Austin’s article about victim impact videos, which serve as audiovisual evidence in criminal proceedings in U.S. state jurisdictions. Providing an in-depth and original study on victim impact videos, this article fully deserves to be brought not only to the attention of the U.S. legal community. Members of other legal systems challenged with the incursion of legal (audio-)visuals into (criminal) courtrooms would also benefit from her broad insights. The greatest value of Regina Austin’s article lies in opening up a wide field of vital problems and related questions that legal research and training, practice and legislation are urgently called upon to tackle. In this context, it is necessary to look out for answers offered especially by multisensory law and therapeutic jurisprudence, or indeed answers which these fields could or rather should further develop.