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LegalTech

Decalogue for better justice system with LegalTech after the COVID-19

The justice system, like all public services, has been overtaken in all European countries by the pandemic. COVID-19 has caught most public administration entities insufficiently prepared to offer the services and demands required by citizens. The usual volume of litigation has increased exponentially and it is expected to continue doing so in the coming months as a result of unforeseen circumstances such as the paralysis of economic activities, the forced social isolation that has increased confrontation and the questioning by some citizens of decisions taken by public authorities, amongst many other reasons.

In view of these circumstances, in most European countries the authorities responsible for justice are announcing their intention to reform their systems in order to be able to face these new challenges, viewing digital transformation as a solution to achieve this.

With more than 400 professionals from more than 30 countries, the mission of the European Legal Technology Association (ELTA) is to promote knowledge about Legal Tech and how to use it efficiently. This Decalogue aims to respond to this mission.

A working team led by María Jesús González-Espejo (Spain), Vice President of ELTA, and the following ambassadors of its network; Holger Zscheyge (Russia), Gregoire Miot (France) and Konstantinos Anagnostopoulos (Greece), have been responsible for its elaboration.

The Decalogue is mainly aimed at public officials in the administration of justice and parliamentarians, and its objective is to serve as a guide for designing future justice systems around citizens, and to deploy the most appropriate technologies to support modern and easy access to justice.

As a result of our reflections we are proposing a total of 10 guidelines, with a brief description and a concrete solution related to LegalTech to help make them effective. These are the 10 guidelines:

1. Justice with strategy

Reforming the justice system with long-term planning and a holistic vision, not with sporadic measures, based on the progressive achievement of small goals while involving all stakeholders in the design of the plan.

Proposed solutions: Creation of a record of successful LegalTech use-cases for a better justice system, which would serve as a model for justice leaders in charge of planning.

2. Justice with adequate funding and efficient expenditure

Justice systems must be provided with the necessary resources to achieve their digital goals and, at the same time, be wisely advised how to conduct efficient spending.

Proposed solutions: Creation of a European LegalTech record for justice and design of European programmes to promote the development of more made in Europe LegalTech.

3. Justice transformation or innovation in justice

Public operators should reflect on the desirability of automating existing systems or reviewing and redesigning them. It is crucial to avoid automatizing existing processes, which have already been proven to be inefficient, and instead try to redesign a new justice system to fit the requirements and needs of a digital society.

Proposed solutions: Use of methodologies such as Legal Design Thinking to review the existing systems and services and a set of regulatory sandboxes for the development and implementation of European LegalTech.

4. More and better open data for a better justice system 

More legal data should be open and accessible in order to allow intermediaries to develop more legal-related solutions.

Proposed solutions: Creation of a European register of legal datasets, that allows benchmarking on available datasets by category.

5. Transparency and citizen participation

Design and evaluate lawmaking transparently, with evidence, and with the support of citizens and other stakeholders. LegalTech can help achieve a more transparent and better justicesystem while encouraging an active citizen participation in policymaking, placing citizens in the centre of the legal system and justice administration.

Proposed solutions: Identify and offer European governments, from all levels, a set of procedures and tools to foster transparency and participation in law making.

6. Talented professionals for a better justice system  

It is of utmost importance to help legal professionals acquire the knowledge and skills they need in order to embrace and profit from justice innovation and to attract the right talent to work towards the goal of improving justice.

Proposed solutions:  Design policies to enforce the incorporation of technical studies into public law school’s curricula, as well as mandatory trainings for lawyers, design training programs for all the stakeholders and attract innovation and tech professionals into the positions responsible for reforming the justice system.

7  Non imposed virtuality as a rule and not as an exception

The citizen’s telematic relations with the justice administration system will be encouraged whenever possible but shall not be imposed in order to avoid creating a digital gap.

Proposed solutions: Introduce the obligation of making a “digital impact evaluation” in any project related to the administration of justice.

8. More simple and accessible justice  

The transformation should seek to simplify legal processes and the selected technology ought to offer a better experience to citizens.

Proposed solutions: Use of Legal Design thinking methodology to improve justice accessibility and limit the effects of legalese and, more specifically, tools such as citizens focus groups to tests new devices or procedures.

9. Citizens’ digital rights guaranteed 

Citizens must understand their digital rights and be able to exercise them. LegalTech should help achieve these goals.

Proposed solutions: Design programs to train citizens on such matters and promote the use of LegalTech that is always respectful of citizens’ rights.

10. Technology based alternative dispute resolution (ADR) & online dispute resolution (ODR) should be prioritised as solutions to improve justice problems 

Technology based alternative dispute resolution systems have the potential to solve conflicts in an easier, faster and less expensive way.

Proposed solutions: Identify the areas of justice where ADR and ODR could help to improve justice, modernize the regulatory framework and provide to all stakeholders of the justice ecosystem the appropriate LegalTech tools and platforms.

If you wish to know more about ELTA’s Decalogue  please contact:

English: María via email or Linkedin
French: Greg via email or Linkedin
German: Holger via email or Linkedin
Greek: Konstantinos via email or Linkedin
Russian: Holger via email or Linkedin
Spanish: María via email or Linkedin

 

 

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ELTA contributes to latest study of ECLA “Legal Departments in a Digital Era”

Legal Departments In a Digital Era: a pan-European study on building the modern, digitised legal department, is a joint effort by European Company Lawyers Association (ECLA) and Wolters Kluwer to provide a detailed look into the digital status of corporate legal departments across Europe. It highlights the priorities of in-house teams in the digital realm and showcases, how far along the digital journey legal departments in Europe are.ELTA’s Board and Ambassadors contributed with their expertise to this study.

The study acts as the starting point for understanding how legal departments are adapting to the digital era and what type of legal technology is prioritised in-house.

Legal Departments in a Digital Era will include overviews on:
> Current digital priorities of corporate legal departments
> The digital strategies of in-house teams
> The organisation and budget for increasing the digital maturity
> Practical experience with legal technology
> Expert opinions on the subject matter

Download study here

Additionally, ECLA and Wolters Kluwer pubslished also a brief article on “Perspective on implications of COVID-19 on the legal sectors”. The short term impact of COVID-19 on people, businesses and markets applies across sectors and market segments, and requires a range of immediate actions, while positioning for the strongest possible future. Consequently, the legal sector, and with that – corporate legal departments – will be affected, too. The legal industry, and the legal function within many businesses, is at an early stage of transformation, as becomes apparent from the study ‘Legal Departments in a Digital Era’. Will the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses change this?

Download article here

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European Legal Tech Congress # ELTACon2019 – Call for Speakers is open

On November 20 and 21, the annual conference of the European Legal Technology Association will take place in Madrid. On Wednesday afternoon, ELTA’s Members will hold its general members meeting. On Thursday, the European LegalTech Congress will gather some of the most reknowned experts around the world on legal innovation, digital transformation and legal tech. On November 22, don’t miss this 100% practical session where we will hear the voice of experience. Lawyers, vendors and other experts will share with us their successes and failures in planning, using, developing digital Projects and tools.

CALL FOR SPEAKERS

If you want to become a speaker and  share your views on any of the topics below, please pitch yourself filling this form.

PEOPLE

  • Change management: Any innovation and/or digital transformation project depends on people, who sometimes are reluctant to change. Thus change management is essential to success.
  • Skills and knowledge: Legal professionals need to acquire new skills and knowledge to enjoy the advantages of being more innovative.
  • Future of employment: Additionaly, the future of legal professionals is uncertain. Technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Smart Contracts, for sure, will have great impact on the sector.

PROCESSES

  • Processes identification: Legal organizations need to identify the services they render and the processes where technology can help to be more efficient.
  • Customer focus: Customers need to be the center of all activities. Getting to know what clients and citizens need is a must for any jurist.
  • Projects prioritization: Legal professionals need to be able to identify key bottlenecks in order to remove them and processes with potential to be automated, in order to improve their businesses.

PLATFORMS

  • Getting the right technology: Understanding the state of the art of legaltech is not easy. Legal professionals need to get a acquainted with the available legaltech and learn how to buy or develop it.
  • Disruptives technologies: Legal professionals need to understand the impact of technology, particularly of the most disruptive, such as Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain.
  • Legal: Identifying the legal challenges derived from the use and/or development of technology.

UX LEGALTECH

  • Hear users’ experiences: Legal professionals will share their experiences when planning, using and/or developing projects and/or tools related to innovation or digital transformation, regardless if it succeeded. Choosing the right legal technology can seem overwhelming. We will listen answers to the following questions: will vetting the choices ensure success? or which are the main obstacles when buying, developing or implementing LegalTech?
  • Learn from developers: LegalTech vendors will share their experiences in developing, selling, and implementing their products. We will hear their answers to questions such as: why some have succeeded and others not? or does the current LegalTech offer respond to the market demands or needs?
  • And understand investors’ needs: The LegalTech industry has become very attractive for investors. These are some of the questions we want to hear answers for: which are their current criteria’s for investing?, who is funding LegalTech and how can your LegalTech be attractive to investors?
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ELTA to offer members collaboration and knowledge sharing with new partner, HighQ

ELTA is pleased to announce a partnership with legal technology provider HighQ. The partnership will enable ELTA and its members to collaborate and share knowledge securely using the HighQ platform.

ELTA supports legal tech communities across Europe including law firms, legal tech companies, in-house lawyers, companies, start-ups and individuals. The organisation plans to use HighQ as a platform for the exchange of ideas and resources as well as to facilitate real-time communication and help create a library of content as a resource for members.

“With a growing membership, the circle of our Ambassadors constantly increasing and the formation of first national expert chapters, ELTA has now reached a level of complexity as an international organisation which requires professional management and collaboration tools,” ELTA chair Tobias Heining said. “We are very happy to engage in this partnership with HighQ and are looking forward to mutual benefits as we further improve our work with our community of legal innovators.”

In addition to improving collaboration and knowledge sharing among members, ELTA will leverage the value of the platform to manage projects, securely share files and access powerful integrations with other leading technology partners.

“HighQ is excited to have a partnership with an organisation dedicated to the advanced use and application of technology in the legal industry,” said Martin Rohde, HighQ’s strategic partner manager, EMEA. “We look forward to providing ELTA with technology that will better connect its members and foster meaningful collaboration between legal tech users and developers.”

About HighQ
HighQ empowers leading law firms to transform the way they work and deliver value to their clients. We unite internal and external teams with digital transaction management, social collaboration, secure file sharing and more, enabling firms to ensure data security, improve client engagement and drive efficiency and productivity.

About the European Legal Tech Association
Created in 2016, strong of 322 member institutions or individual members from 33 countries, ELTA is made up of law firms, companies, legal technology providers, start-ups and individuals in Europe. The association considers itself as a specific platform for the promotion of knowledge about — and possible application of — technological and software-based solutions in the legal market, as well as their uses in companies, law firms, start-ups and other initiatives active in this field.

Contact:
Tobias Heining
President
tobias.heining@lta-online.eu

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