This Colombian court hosts the first trial in the Metaverse

A Colombian court held its first trial at the Metaverse this month and is now hoping to experiment with virtual reality again, authorities told Reuters.

During the two-hour hearing before Colombia’s Magdalena administrative court, participants in a traffic dispute appeared as avatars in a virtual courtroom. Magistrate Maria Quinones Triana’s avatar in black robes.

The country is among the first in the world to test real legal hearings in the Metaverse’s immersive virtual reality to make digital spaces appear more lifelike, often with avatars representing each participant.

“It felt more real than a video call,” Quiones told Reuters, describing the Metaverse experience as “amazing.” On Zoom, she remarked, “A lot of people turn off their cameras, you have no idea what they’re doing.”


The case brought against the police by a regional transport union is now partially continuing in the metaverse, possibly including the verdict, Quiones said. She didn’t rule out Metaverse hearings elsewhere.

“This is an academic experiment to show that it’s possible… but where everyone agrees, (my court) can continue to do things in the metaverse,” she added.

As court cases increasingly shift to video conferences hosted by Zoom and Google, few have experimented with the Metaverse, a space that Meta, Microsoft and other tech giants are rapidly building.

Early examples of interviews and meetings in the metaverse were derided for often clunky, cartoonish visualizations.

Nonetheless, the court case in Colombia on February 15 – streamed on Youtube – went without too much disruption, apart from some dizzying camera movements and some distorted movements.

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Question mark

Quiones reaffirmed the constitutional legitimacy of the virtual tribunal but acknowledged that the experiment had not been popular, citing 70% disapproval among viewers.

Juan David Gutierrez, a professor of public policy at Colombia’s University of Rosario, said the use of the metaverse in court cases still has a long way to go.

“You need hardware that very few people have. And that raises questions about access to justice and equality,” he told Reuters.

Quiones agreed that cost and accessibility needed to be discussed. But she did advocate for the metaverse in abuse cases, for example, where participants can share a space without having to physically see each other.

Gutierrez said judges in Colombia are looking for ways to relieve the country’s overburdened judicial system.

“We create this illusion that technology will make things more efficient, but sometimes it’s the opposite.”