THE FUTURE IS NOW (Virtual Reality Courtrooms Are Changing the Legal Landscape)

Author: KANNARA AMRITA JOLLY, Agnel School of Law



Imagine stepping into a courtroom where the traditional setting of wooden benches and solemn faces is replaced by a virtual world where evidence is presented through augmented reality. This futuristic concept of virtual reality courtrooms is no longer a distant idea but a reality that is revolutionizing the legal landscape. In this article, we will delve into the world virtual reality courtrooms, exploring the benefits, challenges, and implications of this groundbreaking technology.

In addition to hurting millions of people’s capacity to live healthy lives, the COVID-19 epidemic has impeded and obstructed the lives of a billion people who depend on the legal system to provide them with justice and light. 

The Indian Judiciary took a step forward ensuring that no person is deprived of his right to access justice guaranteed and secured by the Constitution of India, and introduced virtual court proceedings.

The idea of virtual reality (VR) courtrooms is still very new in India, and there isn’t currently any established case law on the subject. However, the COVID-19 epidemic has hastened the use of virtual courts, resulting in important conversations and advancements in this field.

In India, the concept of virtual reality (VR) courtrooms is still in its nascent stages, and specific case law on VR courtrooms is not yet established. However, the adoption of virtual courts has been accelerated due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to significant discussions and developments in this area.

Using immersive technology to replicate and imitate actual courtroom situations in a virtual setting, virtual reality (VR) courtrooms are an inventive idea. 

This technology allows legal professionals, including judges, attorneys, and jurors, to experience and interact with virtual representations of evidence, witnesses, and courtroom settings. 

Here’s a deeper look into how VR is being utilized in courtrooms:

Moot Court: Law schools, such as the University of Ottawa, have conducted moot court sessions in VR, allowing students to argue appeals cases in a simulated courtroom setting. This has been particularly useful during times when physical courtrooms were not accessible.

Crime Scene Reconstruction: VR can be used to accurately reconstruct crime scenes, which can help jurors better understand the spatial arrangement of evidence and the sequence of events. Studies have shown that jurors who view crime scenes in VR can be more accurate in their recollections and more unanimous in their verdicts compared to those who view traditional photographs.

Juror Immersion in Crime Scenes:

Researchers at Staffordshire University in the U.K. have created a system that places jurors into the middle of a crime scene using VR. Attorneys can guide viewers through the scene and its evidence, making it easier for juries to understand and appreciate the facts. This immersive experience can lead to more informed decisions by jurors.

Additionally, Durham University is developing a robot system inspired by NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover. This system captures 360-degree video footage of crime scenes, allowing unedited, out-of-the-box footage and stills to be presented in court. The goal is to accurately depict crime scenes without relying on 3D rendering or gaming engines.

Remote Testimony: VR and augmented reality (AR) tools have been found helpful in facilitating remote testimony and witness examination, reducing logistical challenges and ensuring greater access to justice. This is particularly beneficial for vulnerable individuals or expert witnesses who may be located far away.

Challenges and Considerations: While VR offers many benefits, there are challenges to its implementation in legal settings. These include ensuring the authenticity and reliability of virtual evidence, addressing data protection and privacy concerns, and providing equitable access to the necessary technology.

On February 15, 2023, the Magdalena Administrative Court in Colombia made history by hosting the world’s first legal trial in the metaverse. Here are the key details:

Nature of the Trial: The trial aimed to resolve a traffic dispute between a regional transport union and the police.

Virtual Courtroom: Participants in the trial appeared as avatars in a virtual courtroom within the metaverse.

Duration: The hearing lasted for two hours.

Verdict: Interestingly, the verdict could also be given within the metaverse itself.

This groundbreaking event demonstrates how technology, particularly virtual reality, is shaping the future of legal proceedings. By leveraging the metaverse, Colombia explored new ways to conduct trials, potentially paving the way for more efficient and engaging court processes. 

The use of VR in courtrooms is part of a broader trend towards digital transformation in the legal system. It promises to enhance the understanding of complex evidence, improve the accuracy of verdicts, and make the judicial process more efficient. As this technology continues to develop, it could significantly change how legal proceedings are conducted in the future.

As the legal landscape evolves, the integration of virtual reality (VR) technology into courtroom settings is becoming an increasingly prominent topic of discussion. This innovative approach holds the potential to revolutionize the way legal proceedings are conducted, offering a more immersive and efficient experience for all participants.

The implementation of VR courtrooms presents a myriad of advantages. By recreating the physical courtroom environment in a digital space, VR can provide remote access to legal proceedings, enabling individuals to attend and participate from anywhere in the world. This accessibility can significantly enhance the reach of the justice system, ensuring that geographical barriers no longer impede access to fair and equitable legal representation.

Moreover, VR courtrooms can offer enhanced visualization and simulation capabilities, allowing for more accurate and compelling presentations of evidence and testimony. This can lead to a deeper understanding of the case among jurors and ultimately contribute to more informed and well-reasoned decision-making.

The first virtual court in India was launched in Faridabad in the year 2019. Up to then rare attempts were made by the Indian Judiciary proportionally to convert the traditional courts into virtual ones.

The Supreme Court of India launched an application unveiled by the President of India, that has the potential of effectively translating English judicial records into nine vernacular languages and vice versa, One notable publication is the “Adoption of Virtual Courts in India” by Dr. Karnika Seth, the Supreme Court’s bilingual application called “Supreme Court Vidhik Anuvaad Software”(SUVAS) nurtures the user with access to real-time judicial data, statistics, case status, review screen, daily orders, and judgments, etc. Certain advanced developments such as capturing testimony by video conferencing etc have undoubtedly brought easement and efficiency in the means of the justice delivery system.

Another critical analysis by LiveLaw examines the virtual courtrooms and access to justice during the coronavirus pandemic. These publications and analyses provide insights into the legal framework supporting the transition to virtual proceedings and the potential future of VR courtrooms in India. They reflect the judiciary’s efforts to maintain the right to access justice and information during unprecedented times.


  • Reconstructing crime scenes: By utilising 3D modelling and spatial mapping, virtual reality systems help to properly recreate crime scenes. 
  • Improved evidence presentation: By superimposing digital data on the real environment, augmented reality allows complicated evidence to be visualised in real time. 
  • Remote Testimony and Witness Examination: By facilitating these processes using VR and AR technologies, logistical obstacles are minimised and increased access to justice is guaranteed. 


  • Authenticity and Reliability: In order to verify the correctness and dependability of virtual or augmented evidence, standards and norms are essential. 
  • Data Protection and Privacy: Throughout judicial procedures, consideration for cybersecurity, data protection, and privacy is crucial. 
  • Equitable Access: Not all legal participants or courts have the means or technological know-how to use VR and AR. 
  • Enhancing Judges’ Capacity: Giving judges’ capacity-building programmes a priority would help them strike a balance between creativity and justice.

For practitioners and scholars interested in the intersection of technology and law, these resources can serve as a starting point for understanding the current state and prospects of VR courtrooms in India.

The Indian judiciary is addressing the backlog of 27 million cases in courts, with 8.4% pending for over ten years. The E-Courts Project, initiated by the government, aims to expedite case disposal by computerizing 3,388 court complexes and 16,755 courtrooms and providing video-conferencing equipment to 3,240 court complexes and 1,272 jails.

As this technology continues to evolve, it is crucial for the legal community to carefully consider the ethical and practical implications of VR courtrooms. Issues such as data privacy, cybersecurity, and the preservation of the integrity of the judicial process must be thoroughly addressed to ensure that the implementation of VR technology enhances, rather than compromises, the fairness and transparency of the legal system.

The Future of Virtual Reality Courtrooms

As virtual reality technology continues to advance and evolve, the future of virtual reality courtrooms holds immense potential for transforming the legal landscape. With ongoing innovation and collaboration between technology experts and legal professionals, virtual reality courtrooms could become the norm rather than the exception in the coming years.


Virtual reality courtrooms represent a significant paradigm shift in the legal industry, offering unparalleled opportunities for enhanced visualization, improved accessibility, cost-efficiency, and increased engagement. While challenges such as technical complexity, data security concerns, and ethical implications must be addressed, the benefits of virtual reality courtrooms are undeniable. As we navigate this new frontier of justice, embracing the potential of virtual reality technology can pave the way for a more efficient, equitable, and immersive legal system for all.

In the words of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, “Virtual reality courtrooms have the power to revolutionize the practice of law and ensure equal access to justice for all.”


  • What are Virtual Reality courtrooms?

Virtual Reality courtrooms use VR technology to create immersive environments for legal proceedings. These courtrooms allow participants, including judges, lawyers, jurors, and witnesses, to interact with virtual representations of crime scenes, evidence, and other relevant elements.

  • How can VR enhance the trial process?

VR can provide a more thorough environment for jurors to examine facts and evidence. 

For example: 

Jurors can virtually visit crime scenes, allowing them to better understand the context and details of a case.

Lawyers can guide jurors through scenarios using VR headsets, reducing room for interpretation or confusion.

VR can capture 360-degree footage of crime scenes, ensuring that evidence is accurately presented in court.

  • What projects are currently exploring VR courtrooms?

Researchers at Staffordshire University (U.K.) have created a system that places jurors into crime scenes. Attorneys can guide viewers through the scene and its evidence, making it easier for juries to understand.

Durham University is developing a robot system inspired by NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover. This system captures immersive video footage of crime scenes, which can be presented in court without the need for 3D rendering or gaming engines.

  • Are courtrooms embracing VR technology?

Historically, the legal industry has been resistant to change. However, VR presents an interesting opportunity for courtrooms. It allows juries to participate in simulations that bring them closer to the events being discussed, potentially enhancing the trial experience.

THE FUTURE IS NOW (Virtual Reality Courtrooms Are Changing the Legal Landscape)

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