Visions of the Trial: Courts and Visual Culture
Leif Dahlberg (BIH Visiting Fellow/Kungliga Tekniska Hogskolan, Stockholm)
The uses and effects of video technology on social interaction and legal space in the Swedish Court of Appeal
The paper studies the use of audio-visual media in contemporary Swedish courtroom praxis and how this affects social interaction and the constitution of legal space. The background to the study is the increasing use of digital audio-visual media in legal courts in Western countries during the last decennium, and in particular the new rules for court procedure introduced in Sweden in November 2008. An important innovation in Sweden is that interrogations and testimonies in the lower level court proceeding now are video recorded and, in case of a appeal trial, arere played in the appellate court. The paper is based on an ethnographicstudy of the court of appeal in Stockholm conducted in the fall 2010. The study focuses on the uses of video recorded testimony in the Stockholm court of appeal (Svea hovratt) to present evidence and build a case. The paper also focuses on the effects of audio-visual media in the constitution of legal space in the courtroom.