EUROPE ON TRIAL
– Writer(s): Maja NESCOVIC, Vladimir DONN Contact Print page
In EUROPE ON TRIAL, lawyers, experts with the relevant background and citizens from around Europe will debate current social issues which concern all of us. The laws or conventions under debate are analysed and submitted to the vote of jurors who decide if they conform to the best interests of the general public.
“Pilot” SHOW : Right to die/ voluntary euthanasia / assisted suicide
The dramatic interest lies in the necessity to make a choice at the end of the programme and, in order to do so, jury members are able to change their minds on live television, just as viewers via the internet).
Each programme presents a single contemporary subject, a law, a public issue or national policy issue is examined in depth during the bi-media talk-show.
These are some of the most hotly-debated subjects in European society. Most of the talk shows dealing with such a debate are today monopolised by multipurpose ‘experts’, self-appointed opinion leaders and editorialists (for the talk) and polemicists (for the show).
Largely overlooked and side-lined from these platforms are the men and women of the street; in other words, the public. Europe on Trial intends to break out of this mould by actively involving and engaging viewers in an original manner, both on live TV and on-line.
The trial follows the Anglo-Saxon procedure whereby “two counsels” - for the defence and for the prosecution - call their witnesses to the stand (2 or 3 for each side): experts or citizens directly impacted by the law that is being debated.
For 52 minutes, the witnesses are being questioned and ‘cross-examined’ by the two sides. To support their testimony, the witnesses may refer to reports filmed in preparation of the trial.
After the debate, the members of the jury announce a verdict reflecting their position on the issue under discussion. This verdict is a simple FOR or AGAINST vote. Simultaneously, viewers may vote via Twitter and other social networks. Their reactions and votes appear on the secondary screen (internet).
Europe on Trial"World on Trial is inspired by an American format, World on Trial, created by PBS and Penn State University, and the ‘consensus conferences’ and ‘citizens’ discussion panels’ which have become popular in France and elsewhere over the past decade.
AVAILABLE FOR VIEWING: a digital cut of the pilot episode in the original French version.