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7th annual Civil Justice Council National Forum on access to justice for those without means

On invitation Jos Hoevenaars attended the 7th annual Civil Justice Council National Forum on access to justice for those without means taking place in London on 7 December 2018. The full day forum brought together members from across the British advice and pro bono sector, courts and tribunals, government, the legal profession, universities (UK and abroad), charities, foundations and institutions to discuss the current state of the legal aid sector in the jurisdictions of the United Kingdom. The day saw some 20 different speakers as well as several in-depth breakout session in which divergent subjects such as funding, technology, the need for data collection and analysis, and the intersection between legal needs and mental health were discussed among the over 200 participants in more detail.

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Published: November 10, 2018

On 8 and 9 November, Emma van Gelder and Georgia Antonopoulou attended the Dubai Conference ‘Court Excellence and Innovation: Today and Tomorrow 2018’. The conference kicked off presenting the International Framework for Court Excellence. Can the success of courts as service providers be measured and if yes what should the criteria be? Courts’ best practices across different jurisdictions were presented and their potential to improve civil litigation was discussed. In light of the rise of cross-border disputes, the opportunities for courts across jurisdictions to collaborate and to establish partnerships so as to dispense ambiguity for future court users and to improve efficiency for enforcement proceedings were explored. The Memoranda of Guidance on the Recognition and Enforcement of Civil Judgements, that the Dubai International Financial Center Courts (DIFC) have signed with foreign courts, were used as an example of judicial cooperation across jurisdictions. Furthermore, judges of the DIFC Small Claims Tribunal and the Commercial Court of Dubai, drew upon their experience in dispute resolution. While the Small Claims Tribunal focuses on the rapid resolution of low value cases by increasingly making use of technology and alternative dispute resolution methods, the Commercial Court aims to accommodate international commercial disputes and contribute in establishing Dubai as an attractive investment destination. The subsequent panels centered on the use of technology in court administration and judicial decision making. In particular, the panelists considered the benefits and challenges of remote hearings, service via email or even social media and the use of artificial intelligence in the adjudication of cases. The role of the judiciary and the legal profession in the advent of online courts and the emergence of online dispute resolution platforms lead to an intriguing discussion that questioned current court practices.