The Right Hon. The Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales speech at the Society for Computers and Law Annual Lecture.
First, whether I should venture further into an issue that is much troubling those drafting the Common European Sales Law in relation to consumers, namely how does the law respond properly to the consumer who does not understand why there should be a difference in the legal consequences of purchasing a product produced on paper in the traditional way or by downloading from the cloud whenever he wants to use it. I would like to have explored whether we are too much bound by our traditional concepts, whether we do not show an agility of mind and are over-influenced by the economic position of those who control the new way of buying.
The second topic I considered was a talk on the provision of IT for a modern court system. Whether I could speak on such a topic depended upon whether agreement had been reached to provide investment that would make this a reality. Happily such agreement on the provision of finance was reached at the end of March this year. I therefore decided that as this topic is one of pressing urgency, and one where the issues need to be highlighted, I would take this as my topic for tonight.