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Speech by Senior President of Tribunals: The Modernisation of Justice


Just over a week ago at approximately 12 noon on the opening day of the 1st International Forum of Digital Courts in London, there was a notable event. The President of the Caribbean Court of Justice, The Hon Mr Justice Saunders, and the Rt Hon Sir Dennis Byron, spoke to approximately 200 delegates, judges and justice administrators, from over 25 countries. They did so by embedding a video into a presentation that illustrated their content graphically, supported by an App that the conference delegates and organisers could load for free.

They prepared and delivered the presentation overnight while London slept. What was notable was not just how normal and commonplace it has become for lawyers including Chief Justices to speak across continents (for they remained at home in the Caribbean while we were looking across the City of London from the 8th floor of the conference centre at the figure of ‘Lady Justice’ who sits blindfolded with her scales and sword atop the Old Bailey). It was also the way in which lawyers, decision makers, risk assessors, information technologists, data analysts, cyber security consultants, presentation co-ordinators and others: a range of new legal roles, were reflected in the presentation that we enjoyed. It should be said that the efficiency and effectiveness of the exercise, including its proportionate cost, demonstrated an important way forward in an age of austerity where we strive to provide effective access to justice. The examples given in the presentation included a case of constitutional significance, determined online and with expedition. It was a good moment to reflect