Reiling: The eKantonrechter: Direct digital court access for citizens

Senior Judge Dory Reiling, Ph.D., of the Amsterdam District Court has posted The eKantonrechter: Direct digital court access for citizens, at Technology for Justice.

Here are excerpts from the post:

The Netherlands judiciary recently completed a digital procedure for everyday disputes. This blog explains how eKantonrechter was developed and implemented. […]

This time, the procedure was designed to start with a digital form. The parties, after agreeing to put their dispute before the court, each fill out a part of it. Because the procedure is consensual and not adversarial, the rules are less complex. The procedure itself is conducted entirely over the internet, except for the hearing which is face to face in court. […]

We tested the different methods, on paper, with a test panel provided by the Dutch Consumers Union. We had devised fictional disputes, cases our panelists could use to fill out our forms: a contract case about a fading couch, another one about a labor dispute, and a tort case involving physical damage. This enabled us to check whether different types of disputes can be described adequately. With lots of feedback from the panel, we designed a digital form combining structured and unstructured questions. The panel came back, tested this form, and told us they needed more context and help in answering the questions. We then added explanations and help information. For those who feel they cannot fill out the forms themselves, we added a link to the legal aid kiosk, the Juridisch Loket. The panel then came back to test the final product. They told us they could use the form easily. The eKanton procedure for citizens went live at the end of May 2014. […]

For more details, please see the complete post.

HT Dory Reiling

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