Support the Global Transformation to Online Courts

November 8, 2018

Take a look at that headline again. Quite grand isn’t
it. Perhaps verging on hyperbole. Rarely have I had the opportunity to
write such grandiose statements in my time as SCL Chair, mostly because to do
so the statement must ring true, but this time I really do think the hype is
justified as, in just under a month, the SCL will be providing just this kind
of support by being right at the heart of the First International Forum on Online Courts, a two-day
meeting of pioneers in online justice.

The event has been nurtured by our own formidable President,
Professor Richard Susskind, in collaboration with Susan Acland-Hood and the
digital transformation team at HMCTS. Using their unrivalled network of
contacts, the Forum will draw together representatives from an extraordinarily
diverse spectrum of jurisdictions and professional backgrounds, all grappling
with the very real prospect of harnessing digital technology to transform, not
just existing legal processes, but the very idea of justice itself. The two-day
Forum will be hosted by DLA Piper in its new flagship London office.

Court officials from Brazil, Canada and Singapore, to name
just a few, will be there. In total we have delegates from over 30
jurisdictions joining us. On top of that we have lawyers, academics,
campaigners and developers from around the world, all with their ideas and
insights to share. As a sign of the importance being placed on the development
of online justice, we are delighted that both the Lord Chief Justice, Lord
Burnett, and the Lord Chancellor, David Gauke MP, will also be addressing the

Many of the ideas and projects which will be discussed are
in their early stages and the Forum will seek to plot a way forward by
attempting to answer some of these questions: What systems are up and running?
What impact have they had and how is this being measured? How have they been
funded and how much have they cost? What techniques and technologies are being
used? What have been the main obstacles and how have they been overcome? What
are the plans for the future?

I certainly hope that this pooling of talent and knowledge
will be remembered as a seminal moment in history of digital justice and I’m
proud that the SCL will have played a prominent part in organising and
promoting the event. We will, of course, report the event widely both on the
day and in the aftermath.

Which brings me to a final call to action. Supporting such
an event is not cheap and every bit of financial assistance is welcome. SCL is
still looking for additional sponsors, however small, to contribute towards the
cost of running this event.  If you or your organisation would like to support
the Forum, please contact the SCL team for more information.