July 27th, 2007 by Benjamin Duranske
Second Life commentator ‘Gwyneth Llewelyn’ has a press release up, presumably from the Portuguese Ministry of Justice, which says that the Ministry, “in cooperation with the University of Aveiro and the Faculty of Law of the Lisbon New University, will today launch an ‘e-Justice Centre’, a mediation and arbitration centre,” in Second Life.
By “today” they mean 3 AM SLT, Friday, July 27 — about five hours after the release was posted. So unless you live somewhere other than the United States, or are an insomniac, you’re probably going to find out about this after it happened. But if you find out in time, or just want to check it out later, you can visit the Centre (nicely executed in glass, albeit with a heavy Roddenberry influence) at this SLURL.
Given the scope of this project, it is rather odd how little press it has gotten. In fact, aside from ‘Llewelyn,’ nobody else seems to even have the release, and she posted it at 2 AM the day of the event. The quiet launch is not only a little strange, but also sort of a shame, because it looks like an ambitious, potentially controversial, project. From the press release:
The centre will provide mediation and arbitration services for avatars resident in Second Life, permitting the opportunity to decide on conflicts deriving from consumer relations or any contracts signed between parties. Users of the centre can opt to resolve submitted disputes through the application of Portuguese law or through the use of impartiality criteria.
And jumping over to the e-Justice Centre’s web site, it gets even more interesting — they say the build is actually going to be regularly staffed, a relative rarity in Second Life.
This centre provides mediation and arbitration services for all avatars in Second Life in the resolution of disputes resulting from consumer relations or any other contract-based relations signed between parties.
All mediation and arbitration processes are overseen by the Alternative Dispute Resolution Laboratory of the Faculty of Law of the Lisbon New University.
Opening hours: 3pm-6pm (UTC+1), Monday to Friday
It’s still clearly a work in progress — both the “Processes” and “How it Works” pages are “under development,” but it looks worth keeping an eye on.
Organizers say they are going to try to run a video feed of the RL ceremonies in to Second Life. Proceedings at the Centre will be bilingual (English and Portuguese, presumably), though according to the release, the ceremonies this morning will be in Portuguese only.
On the off chance that there’s a Portuguese-speaking reader out there, and you can attend this and post something in the comments, I know other readers would very much welcome a description of the ceremony and would like to learn more about the procedures and processes they’re hoping to put in place too.
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