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News Dispute Management 5th Jul 2017

Freeths compete in 24 hour ‘Online Court’ challenge

Freeths recently took part in a 24 hour international ‘hackathon’ event aimed at providing innovative solutions to online courts and ‘ODR’ (online dispute resolution).

Judged by a panel of High Court judges including the Lord Chief Justice of England & Wales, the event was jointly organised by Professor Richard Susskind, The University of Law, Judiciary of England and Wales and Legal Geek.

A total of 210 people formed 30 teams to compete from midday on Saturday 1st July 2017 through to midday on Sunday. All teams had to include creative thinkers, tech developers or coders and interface designers.

The objective of the hackathon was to provide innovative solutions for ‘online courts’ covering online evaluation, online facilitation through to online judges that could be adopted by HM Courts & Tribunals Service. They were all briefed on the current problems experienced by the court system and were set eight challenges that their solutions must consider – form filling, order drafting, continuous online hearing, argument building, outcome prediction, negotiating and settlement, dispute classification and bundles.

Freeths were represented by Guy Berwick, Partner and Head of Innovation and Delivery, and Ian Stockley, Business Consultant in the Innovation and Delivery team. They joined forces with legal technology supplier slicedbread to apply their knowledge and skills to the task.

Quote from Ian:

“This was the first ever hackathon for online courts which over time will support users with significantly improved access to the legal system. It was fascinating to see the high levels of creativity and legal innovation underway and the interactions with our most senior judges. It was also interesting to see that every presentation utilised machine learning and artificial intelligence in some way as part of their solutions.”

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