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How The Metaverse Is Challenging Legal Limits – Study

Over the past few years, the growth in the metaverse has shown that it can digitize most physical events to the extent that any situation in the real world will have its digital iteration. As the representation of the virtual environment, the metaverse has continued to gain traction among digital enthusiasts as it can convert what happened in the real world into virtual reality.

Absent Facial and Body Cues

Colombia was recently in the news after a local judge reportedly held his court hearing in the metaverse as an experiment with the Web3 technology. The case was civil, involving traffic offenders, and will be partly concluded in the virtual world.

The arguments about how the metaverse can redefine social lives beg the question of whether institutions can utilize the virtual ecosystem to serve critical social events like court cases where someone’s future is at stake. Carlo D’Angelo, a crypto criminal defense attorney and former law professor, discussed how the metaverse could impact the legal process.


D’Angelo disclosed that a metaverse court case is no different from what legal framework aimed to achieve at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic. Amid a global pandemic, the urge to conduct court business led to the adoption of video-conferencing technology like Zoom.

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The law expert revealed that while the numerous Zoom sessions helped conduct court hearings and trials, the technology is unsuitable for handling jury trials. D’Angelo noted that the main reason for the technology’s shortcoming is that in-person visual cues and biases, which can be verbal and non-verbal, are not being picked remotely, especially when using a metaverse avatar.

He added that as impressive as the augmented reality (AR) avatars are, and how they might someday replicate facial expressions and body language. They cannot replace the subtle perceptions humans make during face-to-face interactions.

Legal Metaverse Is Possible

Commenting on the Colombian court hearing, D’Angelo stated that he wondered what physical cues the participants may have missed, like a judge raising an eyebrow or a fidgeting move from the opposition. He continued by stating that advocating for a cause through a digital avatar requires the necessary emotional experience from an event.

However, he noted that overcoming some issues associated with the metaverse’s legal processes in a civil trial might be possible. He believes virtual criminal trials will continue to raise more concerns because an individual’s freedom is on the line.

Speaking of the United States, the legal expert explained that many constitutional rights are at stake, like the defendant’s right to be present during trial and the right to challenge prosecutions under the Sixth Amendment of the country’s constitution.

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Moreover, as a lawyer and a technologist, he said he is bullish on the prospects of Web3 technology and how it can reshape the legal profession. Still, he stressed that many challenges need to be overcome by the courts before metaverse trials can become commonplace.

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Bradley Nelson

Bradley Nelson is a US based cryptocurrency news writer for Tokenhell, he helps readers stay up to date with the latest trends and news from the blockchain and crypto world. Bradley has been a crypto enthusiast since 2018.

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