The COVID-19 pandemic upended virtually every aspect of everyday life, from grocery stores to judicial procedures. The American judicial process is a unique adversarial system that guarantees the right to confront, often before a live jury. Yet, the necessities of social distancing and protecting public health means that these once unshakeable tenets of the United States justice system have been forced to undergo watershed transformation throughout the pandemic. The word transformation is carefully chosen, as certain measures are no longer temporary. Rather, a fundamental shift in the formerly concrete facets of judicial procedure has occurred – almost certainly never to be fully reversed. In the article, I describe the potential benefits of the unprecedented shift, while comparing both the original design and social perceptions of the American court system and judicial procedure. While great potential presents for virtual hearings and trials to continue to provide justice throughout this chaotic period, there are many serious nuances to the untested digital shift that must be acknowledged and accounted for in creating new and permanent change.
John B. Taschner,
Transformation of the American Legal System: Permanent Measures from COVID-19,
Rich. Pub. Int. L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.richmond.edu/pilr/vol24/iss2/3