Crash, bang, wallop! What a website…

In light of the failures of the online Recorder application site, I am not alone in wondering about the proposed Online Courts(1)…

I mention such courts as they are one reason why PLE could become much more important, as noted in the Briggs report on restructuring the civil courts.

If people are to make use of such ‘lawyer light’ systems, they will need the knowledge of the law such a system requires. They will need to know what the Court is for, how it works, how to interpret the information…

Being a librarian I must also add that people will need the technical knowledge and access to IT which using such a Court requires.

This last point is an example of where the mere existence of a solution is not enoughLegal information is widely available, but this does not help if you cannot understand it- or even get hold of it in the first place.(2.)

As with legal information, a key element of PLE is not just the provision of the service, but the careful consideration of how people access and understand it.

(1) For example Francis Fitzgibbon QC as reported in The Times’ The Brief of 21/02/2017

(2) See the paper on open law I co-wrote with Sarah Glassmeyer for a wider discussion of access issues. http://shura.shu.ac.uk/8241/ 

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