How many judges do you know who might write a PhD thesis with the title Technology for Justice: How Information Technology Can Support Judicial Reform, discuss it on her blog, and promise to inform you of its publication by Twitter. Not many, I suspect.
I met Dory Reiling, or Abeline Dorothea Reiling, Vice President of the Amsterdam District Court, to give her full name and rank, when we sat together on a panel moderated by Patrick Burke of Guidance Software at IQPC’s eDisclosure conference in Brussels at the end of September. I wrote about the session in my post Information Retention at e-Disclosure conference in Brussels.
Her own description of the scope of her study reads as follows:
Technology for Justice examines impacts of information technology (IT) on the administration of justice. Court users all over the world complain mainly about long delays, lack of access to justice and court corruption. Drawing on a broad variety of sources – comparative studies, statistics, case law and jurisprudence, studies on IT use and on court usage – this study examines how IT can help to remedy these complaints.
The study, contributing to knowledge about information use and IT in proceedings, analyzes how automated case registration systems have revolutionized thinking about case management and significantly reduced court disposition times. It also explores Internet technology’s potential for increasing access to legal information, predicted by Richard Susskind in 1996, as a means for self-help with settlement and support for court access. Providing the first systematic analysis of court corruption, it analyzes IT’s contribution to reducing corruption. It closes by providing insights into the Internet’s new challenges for judiciaries.
Dory Reiling will defend her thesis on 11 December 2009 at 1:45 PM at the VU University in Amsterdam. The details are here.
I can’t say that I give Amsterdam much thought on a daily basis, so it was more than a bit odd that a conference organiser should ring up as I was writing this to see if I was interested in speaking at a conference which might be held in Amsterdam next year. An omen of some kind perhaps.
Now all I need to do is to find some way of sending Dory Reiling an e-mail which is not rejected by her court’s servers with the message Found several indications this message is likely to be spam, as happened to me four times today. I have removed or changed everything in it which could possibly contribute to that conclusion, but still it is rejected. The enabling powers of technology eh? I have signed up to follow her on Twitter – which reminds me: it was a Tweet from Philadelphia law librarian Robert Richards which tipped me off about Dory’s thesis in the first place.