“Online courts and future of justice” by Richard Susskind – review

I finished reading “Online courts and future of justice” by Richard Susskind and wanted to share few observations. For certain book is worth reading and highlights  important topics. Being personally interested in legal tech and legal process and project management, not a part of court system, my interest in the topics covered in the book goes rather to technology not so much to topics of general  justice.

The most importantly author looks at future solutions through utility-based context – what people (customers, society) really need and want. The author calls it “outcome thinking”. This is important, as other ways discussion about technology, AI and automation becomes just business case for applying tech to today’s activities. Having said that I would expect more attention given to legal design and other methods of structuring future legal processes and services with customer focus.

Second, the book covers arguments for and against technology in court operations. This seems fair as there are real benefits and threats of tech. However, I would expect more discussion on legal and to some extent technical issues with AI, cyber security, data protection etc.

The book looks at possible next steps, so does not cover the topic that systems proposed, when they become standard, will create issues and errors of its own (as all legacy systems do), including technological and process debt. Not much is said how to maintain them to be relevant and flexible in the future.

What I value a lot in the  book is that the author stresses the topic of digital exclusion. This is important as technology and access to it is not distributed equally.

What I like is condensing the examples and case studies of utilization tech in court systems in one chapter – that gives a high level view on the current status, much better than if the examples were scattered through the text.

In short words, very interesting and well written book. Recommend.

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