Friday 6 December 17:15 - 20:00

Lecture Theatre, Centre For Commercial Law Studies
67-69 Lincoln's Inn Fields

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Annual Lecture in Dispute Resolution

Family & Education

Move away from the building: What is the role of ADR in online courts?

Currently the court system in England and Wales is going through a period of significant change. The government has closed 127 courts since 2015 with a further 77 earmarked for closure over the next 7 years. The money saved goes towards the Β£1 billion investment in court reform currently underway until 2023. Court reforms across all areas of justice have a focus on automation of processes, new online processes and new ways of working. The intention is to reduce significantly the number of cases held in physical courts and in buildings. It is predicted that by the year 2022 most civil cases will be resolved online rather than in the courtroom building. This presentation will consider the role of ADR in court reform and whether online mediation and online judges will replace current processes and whether there is a role for AI in helping us to understand and enhance dispute resolution processes.


Professor Prince is Professor of Law at the University of Exeter. She is also the Associate Dean of Education for the College of Social Sciences and International Studies and leads the Education agenda for the College. She has been awarded a University Fellowship Award for Excellence in Teaching and is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Authority.

Professor Prince's research focuses on access to justice in the civil courts, and more particularly, on the role of court-based mediation in civil justice. She has conducted a number of empirical studies of the impact of mediation in the courts for bodies such as the Civil Justice Council and the Ministry of Justice. She has published on the topic of mandatory mediation in Canada, and has researched and published on mandatory projects in Florida and also New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. She was a member of the Civil Justice Council Advisory Group on ODR led by Professor Richard Susskind, set up to explore the role that Online Dispute Resolution can play in resolving civil disputes in the courts. Its initial report was published in February 2015 and has had huge impact on the development of the online courts in England and Wales. Professor Prince was also a member of the JUSTICE group on Preventing Digital Exclusion, which published its Report in 2018.

Venue: Lecture Theatre, 67-69 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3JB

Registration: 5.15pm

Lecture: 5.30pm - 7pm (Lecture Theatre)

Drinks reception: 7pm - 8pm (Room 3.1)

Attendance is free but registration is required so please register above.


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