ESR recently hosted two world leading experts in psychology and judicial research as they spoke to representatives from across the justice sector to seek support for an innovative research bid.
Dr Margaret Bull Kovera and Dr Deryn Strange of New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice(external link), are working alongside ESR’s Dion Sheppard to develop a joint research bid for a project investigating how 3D evidence visualisation could change how evidence is presented and understood in court.
New Zealand is perceived as a forerunner to what is likely to unfold in other jurisdictions and, as an ex-pat kiwi, Dr Strange says the chance to work on something of value to her home country was not one she could pass up
“It’s always fun showing off New Zealand to my colleagues but the degree of access to all the major players in the justice system is unheard of in the US.
“It allowed us to look at the issues from a variety of perspectives and generate a raft of interesting questions.
“New Zealand is seen as a leader in the 3D field and ESR has been using the technology in a variety of ways. To our knowledge, no other jurisdiction is using 3D scanning technology from the beginning of an investigation through to a trial.
“We consider the proposed research to be highly relevant to the future of in-court evidence presentation and, for that matter, investigations as a whole. The technology has enormous potential - we just need to know how it affects each phase of a case, from investigation through to trial,” Dr Strange said.
The next step for the research team is to seek funding in the US to test their hypotheses.