Online Courts Hackathon - Saturday 1st - Sunday 2nd July 2017, London

When: 1-2/07/2017

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The Society for Computers and Law, Legal Geek and the Judiciary of England and Wales have joined forces to stage a Hackathon devoted to online courts and digital justice.


Professor Richard Susskind OBE, President of the Society of Computers and Law and one of the online courts pioneers: “Online courts are likely to be the most significant development in our court system since the nineteenth century, enabling far greater and affordable access to justice. This is a great opportunity to contribute to the design of online courts’" 

More about the hackathon -

The proposed introduction of online courts in England and Wales (for civil, family, and tribunal disputes) represents one of the most significant reforms to the justice system in the past two centuries. Supported by both the Government and the Judiciary of England and Wales, the motivation behind online courts is to provide greater access to justice at lower cost than the conventional court system. While the government is leading the transformation (and is investing around £1 billion in modernising the courts), it is recognised that the design of the online courts would benefit from the input of the wider communities of lawyers, court users, law students, and technologists. 

The idea of the Hackathon is to bring these communities together over a 24-hour period (from noon to noon) and in a friendly and yet competitive spirit, to invite teams to come up with designs, solutions, systems, and technologies for online courts. Participants will be invited to design various tools to support online courts – for example, tools to help litigants structure their legal arguments, organise their documents, negotiate settlements without advisers, as well as systems that will promote ‘open justice’ and machine learning solutions that will help analyse all the data generated by the online courts (these examples were drawn, in part, from discussions with HM Courts & Tribunals Service).

Prizes will awarded for the best ideas. Pizzas and coffee will be consumed in great quantities while the teams work through the night.

This hackathon is an application process, applying does not guarantee entry. The secret location will be revealed to accepted teams and individuals. 

This is a fun, collaborative and educational event.  Please come with an open mind :-)  If you have never been to a hackathon you might find this website useful: 

Q: Who do we need in a team?

Team sizes can vary from 3 - 7 people. We encourage a diverse range of skills and mixed gender group. A typical team would include: 

2 x creative thinkers (these might be lawyers or students)

2 x technically competent members (able to code)

1 x UX or UI designer 

There can be a mixture of the above however it will be hard to compete if you do not have a diverse range of skills. If you want to join but do not know any coders or designers you can sign up as an individual or small team and we will match you to other people with complementary skills. 

Q: What is the challenge? 

This event is themed around the online courts. Specific problems and background will be supplied at the event, with domain experts on site to help answer any questions. This to prevent people building solutions before they arrive. 

Q: What are the rules on coding languages and open source? 

The event is collaborative and inclusive and teams can build in any language and using any tools. We will encourage an individual on a team to create a GitHub repository which the teams commit their code to. We would also like to promote teams to make their code open source.

Q: What do I need to bring?

You will need your own laptop, charger and we recommend bringing some snacks and food. More information will be sent to accepted individuals and teams.

Q: What is the prize?

Prizes will be announced on the night.

Q: I am on my own, can I still join up?

Yes. We will pair you up with a team based on your skills and experience :-)

Q: Where is the hackathon?

Secret location in central London, location revealed to approved teams and/or individuals

Q: I am student from outside London, can you help me get to London?

Travel grants are available for students. Please email:

Who is driving the hackathon?


Learn more about the event at

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