Before there was COVID-19, a number of jurisdictions have created successful online courts specializing in resolution of civil and commercial matters including the UK, Canada, US, Australia and Singapore. These were referred to as one of the Online Dispute Resolution tools. With the pandemic and ensuing lockdowns, countries with necessary technology moved some parts of traditional courts online and the distinction between online courts and traditional courts became blurred. At the same time, the idea of online courts was not only to transfer existing processes online, but rather to rethink the way justice is delivered with a view to increase access to justice and bring it closer to an efficient public service rather than an outdated, slow and expensive process.
Perhaps, the pandemic is the catalyst required to rethink justice delivery and extend the concept of online courts to developing jurisdictions. The same approach used in the first jurisdictions of piloting online courts for small claims first may be used in the aspiring jurisdictions. In this session, speakers will discuss the opportunities, the blurred lines between remote courts and online courts, and the challenges of establishing online courts.