News Item

October 2019

New technology aids access to justice - Oct LawTalk column by Law Foundation Director Lynda Hagen

In recent years, the Foundation has filled a rapidly-growing law and policy gap by backing research into the legal and public policy impacts of emerging new technologies through its Information Law and Policy Project (ILAPP) fund.

It’s therefore fitting that the last two projects to be supported under ILAPP combine important new technology research and the prospect of improved access to justice.

In one study, the Automated Open Access Analytics project, researchers will work with OpenLaw NZ to use its platform to develop software that can be used by anyone to analyse large volumes of judicial decisions.

Lead researcher Tom Barraclough says “The core goal is to develop automated tools that greatly reduce the time and expertise necessary to conduct legal research, both academic and practical. Insights that would once have required a team of legal researchers working many hours will be attainable by lay people in a fraction of the time.”

The second, related research, on “Legislation as Code,” will look at how drafting law while simultaneously preparing it in machine-readable computer language can improve resulting legislation and how it is operationalised across government. It also raises questions to be explored by the research, such as the potential for unintended impacts of drafting law while simultaneously coding it.

The Law Foundation’s research teams for this work are seeking to connect with people who have an interest in these projects or have insights to share. Contact with the research team can be made via the Law Foundation, and information on these and other ILAPP projects are detailed in our website.

Lynda Hagen, NZLF Executive Director: lynda@lawfoundation.org.nz

Full LawTalk article by Law Foundation Director Lynda Hagen, Oct 4, 2019

Law Foundation is providing up to $79,126 for the Automated Open-Access Analytics for New Zealand Case Law project and up to $101,521 for the Legislation as Code in New Zealand project

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