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Katarina

Katarina Palmgren

Year of Award: 2017 Award State: Victoria Legal > General
To explore the use of online dispute resolution to resolve civil disputes - Canada, USA, UK, Netherlands, Germany
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The introduction of an online court in Victoria would present an unprecedented opportunity to truly modernise the civil justice system, increase access to justice, reduce the strain on the courts and see long term cost savings and efficiency gains. However, there are many matters - legal, technical and operational - that need careful consideration before an online court can be established. This report addresses the most important considerations and based on the advice and information provided to me on my fellowship journey, provides the below recommendations.

Recommendations

  1. Establish an online court in Victoria that focusses on early dispute resolution through a fully integrated end-to-end online system constituting four distinct stages: the exploration stage, the negotiation stage, the facilitation stage and the arbitration stage.
  2. Establish the online court as a division of the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria with the jurisdiction to deal with low value civil claims up to $10,000.
  3. Ensure long-term bipartisan government support and funding and avoid a pilot project.
  4. Establish an interdisciplinary development and implementation team comprising of legal experts, judiciary, technical writers, solution architects and user experience designers. The team should, if possible, be led by a member of the judiciary.
  5. Purchase or license an interoperable off-the-shelf system from a third party developer, customised to suit the needs and requirements of the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria.
  6. Make the jurisdiction of the online court mandatory, avoiding a parallel paper-based path.
  7. Establish self-help centres in the court buildings to assist those individuals that need assistance accessing and/or navigating the online court.
  8. Ensure appropriate security measures to protect the information communicated and stored on the online platform.
  9. Ensure open justice solutions to the new online court model.

Keywords: Law, technology, access to justice, online court, online dispute resolution, ODR, court reform

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