Courts will not go back to where they were pre-pandemic

One of the less recognised consequences of the coronavirus pandemic is the rapid shift to online courts. Everyone involved in data protection law litigation at all levels of the justice system should expect greater use of online courts in the future. By Stewart Dresner.

The starting point for thinking about the role of a court is to ask the question posed by Richard Susskind, President of the Society for Computers and Law: Is a court a service or a place? He makes the case that although a court has traditionally been considered a place, in fact, it dispenses or delivers justice as a service. Access to justice is an important right. An online court is one in which judges hear cases online using online documents containing evidence and arguments. Such cases have been heard in the UK in recent years mainly to resolve civil disputes. The judge, witnesses and lawyers on both sides can see and hear each other using one of the online video services.

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