Chapter 16

Judicial Notice in the Digital Age‚Äč

From Chapter 1 to Chapter 15 of this Part, there seems to be a common agreement that, in recent time, computer and its accompaniments have become common sight in our courtrooms. Their number, use and application continue to grow. It is also not in doubt that judges, lawyers, litigants, paralegals and clerks, all have access to smartphones, computers and everything those devices can retrieve from the Internet. We cannot doubt the fact that judges, lawyers and litigants are already relying on search engines to find facts, investigate witnesses and prepare their cases before trial. You will readily agree (though arguable) that because of the vast amount of information on the Internet, facts are, more than ever before, capable of being accurately and readily determined from sources whose accuracy cannot reasonably be questioned. For these reasons, it would be safe to argue that the ease of accessing factual data now available on the Internet will allow judges and lawyers to expand the use of judicial notice in ways that raise significant concern about admissibility, reliability and fair process in our courts. It is against this background that Chapter 16, takes on the application of judicial notice in the current technological dispensation.