Conclusion. A Final Word

AuthorKaren Eltis
A Final Word
e illusion of accuracy that is fostered by Internet resources, both in
terms of judicial out-of-court expression and of independent research (by
judges and ju rors) inter alia, seems to underlie many of the hardships as-
sociated therewith. Approaching the networked environment with cau-
tious openness rather than with trepidation or unbridled enthusiasm is
a simple, but helpful stance. Reection is required in order to ensure that
the benets of technology are harnessed towards the bet ter administra-
tion of justice, rather than subverted for undermining public condence
or further cur tailing necessary judicial ac tivities. e Internet age — with
its promises and hurdles — cannot bypass t he judiciary.
Too oen, it has become almost instinctual to seek out “new and im-
proved” standards, but this approach is not the most useful. Although
advances in science and technology do at times cr y out for rethinking
outdated constructs, reverting to existing frameworks — informed, but
not necessarily transformed by technological change and enlightened by
comparative inquiry and proportionality — is more apropos. For we are
no longer dealing with an irreducible conict bet ween hopelessly opposed
entities — privacy and access (as discussed in Chapter 3) or the “polit-
ical judge” versus the “neutral,” or removed, judge (as discussed in Chap-
ters 5 and 6). Instead, the duty to protect privacy can — and must — be
construed as part of courts’ responsibility to maintain access to justice
and prevent disinformation in their new capacity as “publishers.” So, too,
might the traditional duty of reserve be balanced against the judge’s re-
sponsibility not to be cut o from society in the dig ital age.
Privacy more generally is no longer about the right to be le alone. In
its place, in this Web-dependent age, privacy might ultimately be about

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