Access to justice

Technology and access to justice: the end of the beginning?

Co-operative Legal Services (CLS) looked set fair little more than five years ago to become a world leader in the commercial provision of access to justice for low income clients. In 2011, its then newly appointed director, Christina Blacklaws, announced: “we … want to push the boundaries in delivering advice in other ways for people […]

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HMCTS reform update

I don’t meet many people working in the justice system who disagree that we need to change, but people do often question whether we will be able to do what we have said we will, and whether our reforms will be implemented well and will work properly. They point to criminal justice or wider Government […]

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A justice system fit for the future

The ambitious courts modernisation programme known as HMCTS Reform continues to grapple with the process of creating a justice system that not only is suitable for the digital world of today but also won’t look out of place in fifty years’ time. How is it getting on? Online courts The headline-grabbing feature of the project […]

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Online courts and cyber judges

Courts in England and Wales have been struggling with information technology for so long now, that expectations of any improvement remain stagnantly low. Nevertheless, the current project to create an Online Court with its own procedure and staff goes beyond anything hitherto attempted. Can it overcome a long history of failed IT projects and deliver […]

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Online courts: the human impact

The testing of online courts should not simply be about whether the technology works, said Andrew Langdon QC, chairman of the Bar, at an event on 16 February hosted by the UCL Judicial Institute, “The Case for Online Courts”. He sensibly pointed out the “human process” of law, and the potential impacts of the transition […]

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Upgrading the law, regrading lawyers

On 6 October 2016 Professor Richard Susskind delivered the annual Society for Computers and Law lecture, entitled “Upgrading the Law”, marking 20 years since the publication of his The Future of Law. How had he fared in his predictions? He was not shy about confirming his successes but did not gloat and admitted that his […]

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Can ODR deliver better access to justice?

Professor Richard Susskind OBE is well known within the legal profession for his numerous books predicting a dramatic transformation in legal practice, and calling for an overhaul of 21st century lawyering. In February 2015 he made national headlines for his proposed eBay-style scheme for online dispute resolution (ODR) and the recommendation that HMCTS introduce a […]

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Transparency: promoting public understanding of the law

Law is a complicated subject and its effect on people’s lives can be hard to explain. But in certain areas the traditional media, particularly at the tabloid end of the spectrum, are notoriously prone to bias and misrepresentation. Three areas of law where this is particularly noticeable are family, crime and human rights. In all […]

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Custodians and gatekeepers: maintaining access to public legal information

Most people would now agree that public information should not only be publicly available, but also freely available. In the area of law, this is assumed to include not only legislation but also case law. This is, after all, the law of the land, ignorance of which is considered no defence. It is probably impossible […]

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Access to justice through technology

Richard Miller, Head of Legal Aid at The Law Society, said of our Access to Justice Campaign, launched in September 2104, “I am very keen that [it should] include guidance to our members about what they can do to make services more affordable to clients; and that, of course, includes how they can use technology […]

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The Big Advice Survey

The Big Advice Survey is a collaborative project, created and promoted by individual Citizens Advice Bureaux and Law Centres and an incredibly diverse range of other organisations. It went live on 1 December 2014 and will run until the end of March 2015. It is the largest UK-wide front-line service collaboration for many years. Support […]

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Justice online

Justice.gov.uk is on borrowed time. The intention is to move all information on that site and many other justice system websites to GOV.UK. Justice.gov.uk and those other websites will ultimately disappear. Much has moved already. As such, it is important to get to grips with GOV.UK. This article describes its structure and features with reference […]

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