Episode 31 “The future of justice: data, evaluation and online courts with Dr Natalie Byrom”

Episode 31 “The future of justice: data, evaluation and online courts with Dr Natalie Byrom”

This episode no. 31 is important in light of current circumstances and the impact on the legal profession, not only through disrupted working conditions but regarding current modes of conducting hearings – it covers issues of grave importance to maintaining the rule of law.

I speak with Dr. Natalie Byrom who is Director of Research at UK The Legal Education Foundation where she leads work to build the evidence base for what works in helping individuals to secure their rights. Last year she was seconded to Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service as Expert Advisor on Open Data and Academic Engagement where her remit included advising on the data architecture and methods required to evaluate the impact of technology focused court reform on both access to and the fairness of the justice system.

The 3 main topics in this episode are:

·       the urgent shift to online hearings we’re seeing right now around the world – whether they are taking account of more vulnerable people and what could be done to improve the processes if indeed they become a part of the new normal after this crisis is over;

·       the importance of collecting evidence for evaluation – not only to demonstrate impact to funders but to improve on current practices, and

·       the relationship between digitisation and systemic reform.

As part of those conversations we covered the importance of screening for legal needs to profoundly assist with complex social problems and the work of the Legal Education Foundation’s new Justice Lab.

Natalie shared examples of resistance she’s faced to evaluation, the importance of understanding how digital delivery of legal services aids or inhibits inclusivity and makes a very important point about the connection between funding and evaluation.

You should listen to this episode if you are curious about the impact of online courts on access to justice; in evaluation as a tool to demonstrate your organisation’s impact, or generally interested in best uses of technology in the delivery of legal services.

I’m grateful to Neota Logic for sponsoring the podcast.  Neota Logic is a leading no-code AI automation platform, providing professionals with a wide range of easy-to-use tools to rapidly build applications that automate any aspect of their services. Recently, Neota released Canvas – which goes a step further by allowing subject matter experts to build applications on their own in minutes without any prior training or programming skills. More about Canvas here.


Andrea Perry-Petersen – LinkedIn – Twitter @winkiepp – andreaperrypetersen.com.au

Twitter – @ReimaginingJ

Facebook – Reimagining Justice group

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