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Exploring the Future of Criminal Justice

A group of people standing in front of a large screen showing a presentation.
Participants at the Virtual Criminal Justice Conference 2024.

Insights from the Virtual Criminal Justice Network Conference

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the integration of communication technology and digital tools in criminal courtrooms worldwide has surged. Technologies such as video-links, AI, e-evidence, Zoom trials, and even VR courtrooms are becoming commonplace. This shift raises fundamental questions about how technology is transforming traditional trial concepts like participation and how best to integrate these technological advancements into criminal justice systems. To address these challenges, the Virtual Criminal Justice Network was established. We asked Associate Professor Lisa Flower, co-organiser of the conference,  what the network does and how the conference went.

What is the Virtual Criminal Justice Network?

The Virtual Criminal Justice Network is a pioneering interdisciplinary hub that brings together researchers from criminal law, sociology, psychology, criminology, and language communication amongst other disciplines. The network's mission is to develop interdisciplinary research, exchange ideas, and unite experts from various disciplines to explore the use of digital means in criminal proceedings. With over 100 members from 20 countries, the network is at the forefront of understanding and shaping the future of criminal justice.

Conference Highlights

This week, the Virtual Criminal Justice Network hosted its annual conference at Lund University. The conference was co-organised by Lisa Flower, together with Christina Peristeridou (Maastricht University), Dorris deVocht (Tilburg University) and Carolyn McKay (Sydney University), gathering 40 researchers and practitioners from 12 countries and a variety of disciplines. The conference focused on the current use and experiences of video links in courtrooms, discussing both the benefits and pitfalls. Participants also delved into the future of criminal justice technology, including the potential use of avatars in court.

Looking Ahead

The conference is an annual event, continuing to serve as a vital platform for interdisciplinary dialogue and innovation in the field of criminal justice.

Join Us

The Virtual Criminal Justice Network invites scholars and practitioners interested in the intersection of technology and criminal justice to join the network.

For more information, visit