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Uni’s animations demystify legal processes and terms

23 April 2020

More short animated clips aimed at helping people navigate New Zealand’s court processes have been released by the University of Otago Legal Issues Centre (UOLIC).

As with a first instalment of nine animations launched in 2018, the six new clips explain common legal terms – such as ‘pleadings’, ‘affidavit’ and ‘discovery’ – that non-lawyers might encounter when involved in legal proceedings.

UOLIC Director Dr Bridgette Toy-Cronin says the Centre’s research has shown that technical legal language and unwritten or obscure rules make it hard for people to understand how courts work.

“Small things lawyers take for granted may, for others, be significant barriers to justice and finding a lawyer to help with civil disputes, so it is important to create more ways to help people understand our justice system’s rules, processes and terminology,” Ms Toy-Cronin says.

The Centre is interested in promoting innovation to supplement the official and predominantly text-based information that is available, and the animations are one such contribution.

“We hope that the animations will help to demystify the court process. A simple explanation delivered in a fun way can alleviate the unfamiliarity or strangeness that exacerbates the trauma of becoming entangled in a dispute” she says.

The videos were animated by an Otago Polytechnic communication design student.

The new and 2018 videos are available on the Legal Issues Centre’s YouTube channel.

Last updated on the 23rd April 2020