LJD Week 2021 | Improving racial equity and the rule of law through digital justice systems
Examples of what digital justice systems can achieve. An effective legal system is not only good for those who deal with the courts, but for everyone. Digital justice systems improve access to justice, which has a direct impact on racial equity, and by strengthening the rule of law, help countries achieve SDG 16 goals.
Take for example South Africa and Kenya. Thomson Reuters supported trials of a digital justice system with the Kenya Court of Appeal and, in South Africa, provides digital justice across the civil justice sector.
Their systems allow for the creation and presentation of a fully digital hearing file including multimedia evidence; collaborative tools for better pre-trial preparation; and easy-to-use presentation tools for hybrid and virtual hearings. Judges are increasingly at the forefront of these modernization efforts. Their efforts promote digital access to court proceedings and make court proceedings more negotiable and understandable. In Canada, First Nations people are using digital justice to pursue Indigenous land rights claims against the government. Digital justice systems empower more people, especially disadvantaged populations, improving racial equity and access to justice.
Different digital justice initiatives. From body-worn cameras to digital courtroom systems, digitization has the potential to improve transparency, accountability and auditability. The panel will examine the merits of different initiatives and barriers to adoption in different companies
Obstacles to adoption. Not everyone has reliable Internet access or essential devices to fully participate in these new justice systems. Likewise, many countries are held back by budgets, social factors and immature IT systems. The panel will examine the obstacles and what international organizations can do to support change.