Witnesses play a very important role as they help to clarify what has happened by telling the judge or jury everything they know about an event. Although their role is necessary in providing real-life elements and facts to the case to be judged, they possibly are the most neglected group of stakeholders when it comes to the court proceedings.
The process is often designed in a way that assumes witnesses already know how to behave throughout the trial. And while this might be the reality for some expert witnesses who go to court quite often, this certainly isn’t so with ordinary witnesses for whom a court proceeding probably is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of event.
Based on research, witnesses take the task seriously, but feel stressed and as if they were accused – even the invitation letters are written in an imperative language and there is a lack of information, for instance how to get to the courtroom, what is going to happen during the process and what their duties are about.
In this episode we interview senior specialist and district court judge Nina Immonen and public legal aid attorney Tero Jyrhämä, who took the challenge to create better experiences for witnesses with a group of students at the Laurea legal design and legal expertise programme. Tero and Nina tell us about the project and what they learned about the experiences of witnesses and how to best address them with human-centric design. We also discuss how to make legal design more mainstream in public legal services.
The guidance videos for witnesses that we are talking about can be found here: As a Witness in a Trial – YouTube and Tuomioistuinvirasto − Todistajana oikeudenkäynnissä – YouTube
Nina Immonen is a district court judge, currently working as a senior specialist at the National Court Administration in Finland, with a recently developed interest in legal design. “I feel passionate about new ways of communicating the legal field to people. It’s always a win win.”
Tero Jyrhämä is a next generation lawyer serving his legal knowledge understandably and emphatically. Today Tero works as a Public Legal Aid Attorney, incorporating his service design skills into his everyday work to the benefit of both his clients and employer.
This episode is brought to you by Precisely – the CLM platform setting a new standard for digital contracting. For more information, go to preciselycontractsl.com/ldp.