Blinding Justice and Video Conferencing?

This Article discusses how to blind justice and reduce racial justice inequities when conducting dispute resolution processes for civil matters via video conferencing. The sheer volume of cases conducted via video conferencing during the pandemic provides an opportunity to begin examining this prescient issue. Post-pandemic, video conferencing remains a preferred mode of conducting dispute resolution processes for some dispute resolution cases because of its time and cost-saving benefits. This Article explores how we might we build on what we have learned to yield equitable justice outcomes.

This Article focusses on three major racial justice equity issues magnified by video conferencing: remediating the digital divide; addressing the implicit racial biases that are exacerbated by video conferencing; and responding to Black participants’ procedural justice concerns when dispute resolution processes when video conferencing traverse the public/private divide. This Article culls from the emerging research and discussions about the intersectionality of video conferencing and implicit racial bias observed in virtual court hearings, interviews, and anecdotally during the Covid pivot.