The Colombian court is the first to make history in the Metaverse. The Administrative Court of Magdalena held a hearing in Metaverse on February 15, 2023. It was presided by Judge Maria Victoria Quinones Triana. This event marked a significant milestone in legal proceedings within virtual reality environments.
According to Judge Quiñones, the Metaverse can be a valuable technological resource to improve access to justice. By incorporating information technology into judicial proceedings, the objective of expediting and streamlining the process of executing justice can be achieved.
Temporary Union of Integrated and Specialized Services of Transit and Transportation of Santa Marta (SIETT) initially requested to hold the hearing in the Metaverse and subsequently accepted by the defendant parties, including the National Police and the Ministry of Defense, as well as the Public Ministry’s Office.
The Colombian officials utilized Horizon Workrooms, a virtual workspace powered by Meta’s Horizon Worlds technology, to conduct a two-hour court session.
Colombian attorneys joined the proceedings by wearing VR headsets and appearing as customized avatars within the Metaverse. The meeting was live-streamed on YouTube, allowing viewers to witness the event remotely.
Quiñones used verification numbers sent to the registered email addresses of all participating parties to confirm their identities. The judge emphasized the importance of validating the actual identity of attendees as a critical aspect of Metaverse proceedings.
Virtual court hearings have become increasingly prevalent since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, appearing as avatars in a virtual court proceeding marks a significant milestone.
While some observers praised the event as groundbreaking for Web3, others expressed concerns that the presence of avatars may detract from the seriousness of the proceedings.
In response to the comments, Quiñones acknowledged the constructive criticism and affirmed their commitment to supporting the process and addressing any identified deficiencies within the Judicial Branch.
The concept of the Metaverse has attracted interest from international regulators seeking to expand their knowledge. Interpol Secretary General Jurgen Stock recently stated that the organization is exploring methods to address criminal activities within the Metaverse to avoid being left behind.