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Access to justice in times of corona

Digital court room Rotterdam (rechtspraak.nl)

While our focus is on keeping ourselves and others healthy and safe and we share the great concerns and grief caused by the corona virus, our team tries to keep the spirit up and is working at a reduced pace from home. Our PhD researcher Georgia had to return earlier from her research stay in Singapore – but we are happy to have her back safe and sound – and many of our planned activities have been cancelled. Luckily, some meetings and events can still go through online and we hope that this virus that has been so devastating for many people can be controlled soon and we can begin to pick up our normal life routines and work activities in a world that has been shaken.

The disruption of society has naturally also affected our justice systems. In the Netherlands, the courts were closed on 17 March 2020, and only process designated urgent cases (including child protection cases, health and security related cases, insolvency cases, and certain criminal cases). A positive side effect is the rapid uptake of digitisation of justice. In the Netherlands, on 3 April 2020 a legislative proposal was put forward to enable more electronic communication and video calling to secure that the judiciary can keep functioning. We report more in detail on this in our blogpost on Conflictoflaws.net.

Stay safe and healthy!

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Published: April 1, 2019

On 21-22 March, Erlis Themeli participated in the “Legal Data Mining Conference” organised in Paris by the HEC Paris, École Polytechnique, DATAIA, and the Japanese National Institute of Informatics. The purpose of this Conference was to structure a conversation on both the fundamental and practical issues of legal data mining between scholars from AI, law, and logic. Erlis presented some preliminary findings from his empirical study on the perception of an AI-judge by court-users. This study, which is part of his research on the digitisation of justice, is conducted in collaboration with colleagues from the Rotterdam School of Management, the Erasmus School of Law, and the Utrecht University. The aim of the study is to better understand the reaction of court-users when facing a non-human judge.