HM Courts and Tribunals announces all-night ‘hackathon’

HM Courts and Tribunals announces all-night ‘hackathon’

HM Courts and Tribunals have revealed today that they will be kicking off plans to design an online court with an all-night ‘hackathon’, to be held at a secret location in London. The announcement detailed plans to collaborate with the technology law community, Legal Geek and the Society for Computers and Law to run the event.

The Online Court-building ‘hackathon’ will run from noon on the 1st of July for 24 hours, according to their event website. Teams will be partaking with a friendly yet competitive spirit’ to build ‘designs, solutions, systems, and technologies for online courts’.

The idea of the ‘hackathon’ is hardly a new one. Emerging in the 1990s from the US ‘cyberpunk’ culture, the original hackathons aimed to connect interested parties to allow them to work together to solve particular problems and would traditionally be accompanied by fast food. The judiciary seems to be reviving and emulating the event and has announced that ‘pizzas and coffee will be consumed in great quantities’. It plans to run non-stop over the 24 hours, saying that ‘we expect most teams to work through the night, certainly the techies’.

The event will involve the design of tools for use in online courts, such as to help litigators build legal arguments, organize digital documents, and come to settlements without the need for advisors, as well as means to achieve automated learning solutions that will retrospectively analyze data generated by the online programs to improve the system.

‘Online courts are likely to be the most significant development in our court system since the nineteenth century, enabling far greater and more affordable access to justice. This is a great opportunity to contribute to the design of online courts’, commented Professor Richard Susskind, OBE, president of the Society of Computers and Law and a keen supporter of the scheme.

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