Tribunals are a major part of the administrative justice system. The Government has begun to introduce digital procedures in tribunals but the full details of the changes remain to be seen. This report—commissioned by the UK Administrative Justice Institute—outlines ‘what we know and what we need to know’ about the digitalisation of tribunals. It takes the first steps towards establishing a research agenda for online tribunals and identifies a range of key research issues and questions.
Overview of the report
This report covers four distinct areas:
- What is the context for the introduction of online tribunals?
- What do we know about what online tribunal procedures will look like?
- What are the key issues and questions going forward?
- How do developments in the UK fit within wider international developments?
In relation to the first question, this report outlines four important contexts for the advent of online tribunals: reforms to administrative justice and changes to tribunals; advances in e-government; developments in online dispute resolution; and the development of the Transforming Our Justice System proposals. In relation to the second question, this report sketches out the types of online procedure that are either being introduced or that are likely to be introduced. The third part of the report provides a survey of the kind of issues which are likely to arise, both during the reform process and more generally. This section also highlights some key research questions. As regards the fourth question, this report provides a brief overview of developments internationally.
The report concludes that, going forward, it is crucial that research on online tribunals is pursued. To this end, it is suggested that it is important to develop a multidisciplinary research agenda which sets out, in detail, what sort of work would be useful in supporting and assessing the design and implementation of online tribunals. Finally, it suggests there is space for international dialogue on important common issues in this area.
The full report is available to download here: The Digitalisation of Tribunals for website and for viewing below.
It will be launched at the Public Law Project (PLP) as part of PLP’s launch if its Research Strategy. PLP invites public law researchers to attend a research event on Tuesday April 10 2018 at 7pm – 8.30pm, hosted by DAC Beachcroft (100 Fetter Lane, London, EC4A 1BN). The event will cover PLP’s research aims and provide an opportunity for discussions over refreshments. Places for this evening are on a first come first served basis, so to RSVP please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend.
About the authors:
The report is co-authored by Professor Robert Thomas (Professor of Public Law, University of Manchester) and Dr Joe Tomlinson (Lecturer in Public Law, University of Sheffield, and Research Director, Public Law Project).