New Technologies in International Criminal Justice
Name of Postdoctoral Fellowship
Videoconferencing Technology in Canadian Criminal Courts: Revolution in Access or a Hindrance to Access to Justice?
One of the most tumultuous issues of our time is how to deal with the aftermath effects of COVID-19 which has forced Canada’s courts to operate like never before due to physical distancing restrictions, leading to the adoption and expansion of digital technologies, particularly videoconferencing technology, making them ubiquitous. Ayo’s postdoctoral work will examine the challenges and impact of such transformations and the perceptions for achieving justice amongst not only those individuals subjected to or affected by the court’s work (the accused, witnesses, victims, judges, prosecutors, defence attorneys, court staff, etc.) but also the impact on the procedural changes underway in Canadian criminal courts. By examining the interface between people, legal procedures and new technologies, Ayo’s postdoctoral work will expand of his earlier work by researching the way that older twentieth-century approaches to justice are being transformed to produce a new twenty-first-century approach that promotes remote operations of courts, reduces the backlog of cases and improves judicial efficiency and fairness in the criminal justice system. It will also investigate the potential issues regarding videoconferencing technologies, from evidentiary and procedural standpoints to questions about the technologies’ accuracy and efficient use. His study will provide practical evidence-based guidelines to improve remote participation in criminal proceedings and reduce the perennial access to justice problems that plague the Canadian criminal courts.
Ayodele Akenroye is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Digital Justice at the Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies. His current research focuses on the use of videoconferencing technology in Canadian criminal courts and how it’s use clash with the Charter rights of accused persons and also challenge the cultural assumptions about how the role of the judge is performed and the image of what the judge should be.
He completed his PhD at McGill University, Montreal, where his dissertation explored the complexities of victimhood in the international criminal justice project especially the construct of good victims vs bad victims; perfect victims vs imperfect victims; women as authors of atrocities or “beautiful souls” incapable of violent behaviour; child soldiers - demons or “pawns of powerful warlords”, etc. which International Law is constantly required to arbitrate as it constitutes victims.
He is also a Tribunal Member with the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada/Government of Canada where he makes decisions in admissibility hearings and detention reviews for foreign nationals or permanent residents believed to be inadmissible to, or removable from Canada under the law, or detained by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). Before joining the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, he practised as a criminal defense lawyer in Toronto, was a Visiting Professional with the Prosecution Division of the International Criminal Court and was a Prosecution Adviser to the Head of Nigeria’s Independent Corrupt Practices Commission.
PhD, International Criminal Law, McGill University