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Digitalisation of civil justice systems in Europe and access to justice

Friday 16 June 2023
Hybrid event (online and in-person at Radboud University Nijmegen)
Radboud University Nijmegen, Faculty of Law, Grotuis Building
Montessorilaan 10
6525 HR Nijmegen


The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the use of digital communication. The need for digitalisation of justice is self-evident in an increasingly digitalised society. Advantages for justice include easier access to legal proceedings and relevant legal information for citizens and more efficient work processes for judges and lawyers. In the past decade governments have invested in digitalising justice, but the level of digitalisation differs from country to country and within the EU. There is significant room for improvement, but matching technology to legal needs, including protection of fundamental rights, is complex.

Dr. Reiling will present a new research project developed in the context of the European Law Institute High Level Expert Group meetings on Digitalisation of Justice Systems, which took place on 13 and 29 April 2022 and were chaired by ELI First Vice-President, Lord John Thomas, this project was adopted by the ELI Council at its February 2023 meeting. The primary purpose of this new ELI project is to provide an overarching framework to improve the use of digital technology in the judiciary. It will bundle dispersed knowledge and research, and facilitate digitalising civil justice systems while securing fundamental values of civil procedure. The Project Team will develop set of principles, deriving fundamental rights from Article 6(1) ECHR and Article 47 of the EU Charter on Fundamental Rights, and largely based on the ELI-UNIDROIT Model European Rules of Civil Procedure and on existing studies of digitalisation of justice systems.

Presenter bio

Hon. A.D. (Dory) Reiling Ph.D. Mag.Iur. (May 24 1950) was a senior judge of the Amsterdam District Court until she retired in 2018. Formerly (2004-2007) a senior judicial reform specialist at the World Bank and IT program manager for the Netherlands judiciary, she was actively involved in designing and building digital procedures for the civil courts in the Netherlands.
Dory is the Lead Reporter on the European Law Institute’s project on Digitalisation of Civil Justice in Europe, and section editor of the International Journal for Court Administration. She is a member of the Comité scientifique de l’Institut Européen de l’Expert et de l’Expertise. She acts as an advisor to Dutch startup Visual Contracts, and the Access to Justice project of Universidad Alfonso Ibañez in Santiago de Chile.

She regularly lectures on court Information technology and artificial intelligence AI at universities, judicial academies and postgraduate schools and works as an IT adviser to judiciaries around the world. She was the acting expert for the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE, Council of Europe) Opinion 14 on information technologies and the courts. She also contributed to the CEPEJ Cyberjustice guidelines. Her work on artificial intelligence includes advising the Parliament of the Netherlands on artificial intelligence for courts, a study by Amnesty International on AI and human rights, and the Ethical Charter on the Use of Artificial Intelligence in Judicial Systems for the Commission for the Efficiency of Justice of the Council of Europe. Her publications can be found on www.doryreiling.com, her tweets are on www.twitter.com/doryontour and her Technology for Justice blog is on www.doryreiling.blogspot.nl. She is a co-author of the World Bank Handbook on Justice Sector Assessments. Her 2009 book Technology for Justice, How Information Technology can Support Judicial Reform, is widely available in print, online and as an e-book.

About the seminar series

Institutions for Conflict Resolution / Conflictoplossende Instituties (COI) is a research collaboration between Utrecht University, Leiden University, and Radboud University Nijmegen. As part of its activities, the COI research group organises seminars throughout the year for researchers interested in current and innovative topics relating to institutions for conflict resolution. The seminars feature international speakers who present their work, followed by Q&A and discussion. Themes include the evolving role of judges in preventing and resolving conflicts, the role of alternative avenues and non-public actors, and how societal challenges such as climate change or digitalisation affect institutions for conflict resolution. Seminars are hosted on a rotating basis at each of the three universities, and are delivered in a hybrid format: online and in-person, on campus at the host institution.

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