The coronavirus epidemic has greatly changed the world. Within a few months, it became completely different, and many familiar things have changed so that no one would have believed that it could be before. For example, it turned out that you can work without leaving your home, and those services that you had to queue for can also be received at home. The authorities of many countries are introducing surveillance systems for infected people, and laws are being adjusted so that an increasing number of aspects of life flow into the online.
Innovations become deeper and often come to “excesses”. The recent case in Nigeria, when the court pronounced the death penalty online, is very interesting in this regard. The trial was held using the Zoom service and all the parties necessary for the process participated in it. At the same time, prosecutors, judges, defense counsel, and the defendant were in different places but communicated with each other in real-time. The virtual court took place on May 4 in the largest city of Lagos.
The defendant, sentenced to death by hanging, committed a serious crime. He killed the man, however, he denies any involvement and pleads not guilty. Human rights activists are confident that the practice of online courts is unacceptable and contrary to the spirit of the law. Their confidence is based on the fact that participants in the process cannot communicate as correctly during a video conference as during a real court session. In addition, they were outraged by the fact that the hearing was held behind closed doors, which contradicts the principles of open courts.