THE jury system is threatened by the internet generation, who are so used to getting their information in text they won't be able to grapple with the oral traditions of the court, a top judge claims.
The UK's Lord Chief Justice says that in 15 years' time the way information is delivered to juries will have to be rethought and jury members will have to be given evidence via computer.
"I am very strongly in favour of the jury system. But I look at my grandchildren: they don’t learn by listening to people talking at them. They have teachers who guide them,” said Lord Judge, the most senior judge in England and Wales.
Nor, he added, did university students. They put lecturers’ notes “into their machines” which they then used later to educate themselves, he said.
The idea of juries sitting down and listening for hours on end, and then evaluating that information, is going to become a thing of the past, he said.
Technology would have massive ramifications, he said, and is developing at "the most extraordinary rate".
He said he wants the issue to be thought about deeply. "What we don't want to have is what we sometimes do have - the acknowledgement of the crisis long after it's in existence and then efforts to plaster over it."