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We set ourselves the challenge: what will the courts look like in 20 years’ time?
To provide possible answers to this question, we combined external opinion and internal expert views to create a composite forecast of the likely directions of court technology and procedural development in the coming decades.
We sought insight from common law jurisdictions in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and elsewhere. We were struck both by the variety of progress we saw in modernization, and by the commonality of themes. Across this broad geographic spread, the same questions concern the judge, the court clerk and the legal professional.
We see converging trends: in digitization, virtualization, and the challenges of a data-driven world. We see inspiring opportunities: transforming the delivery of law to our community, increasing access to justice, removing disadvantage in the face of increasing inequality.
But most of all, we see increasing demands on people: tomorrow’s judges and their colleagues in the administration of justice will need a new approach to strategy, more empowered decision-making in the new digital world, and most of all the adaptability and agility to lead a court system that keeps pace with the rapidly changing demands of society.
This paper is unreservedly focused on technology and information. Successful attempts to predict the future are rare, especially where technology is concerned: experience shows that new technology is unpredictable in both its evolution and its impact. Therefore what follows is no more than an attempt to paint a picture of potential directions.
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