Greater integration between courts and extrajudicial bodies called for in public lecture

Posted by es328 at May 05, 2017 10:16 AM |
Professor Pablo Cortés will tackle changes in the field of civil justice in a Professorial Inaugural Lecture at the University of Leicester on Tuesday 9 May

Issued by the University of Leicester Press Office on 5 May 2017

A legal expert from the University of Leicester will call for more integration between courts and extrajudicial bodies in order to provide a solution to low-value claims in a Professorial Inaugural Lecture on 9 May.

Professor Pablo Cortés, Chair in Civil Justice at the Leicester Law School, will explore the role technology and extrajudicial processes, such as mediation, arbitration and ombudsman services, can play in reforming the civil justice system.

Professor Cortés will argue that these increasingly publicly certified extrajudicial bodies are more than mere dispute resolution mechanisms since they provide a public service for consumers that complements, and often replaces, the role of the courts.

Furthermore, he will note that while courts use extrajudicial techniques, and consumer dispute resolution bodies often rely on binding adjudication as a last resort, there is not enough co-operation between extrajudicial bodies and the courts.

In the lecture, Professor Cortés will also argue that justice for consumers can only be achieved if they either have access to accountable and effective extrajudicial schemes, or to a much-improved online court that incorporates extrajudicial techniques as the UK government has recently endeavoured to deliver.

Professor Cortés said: “The online court represents the most important change in the English civil courts in a generation. It is hoped to become easily accessible for litigants without legal representation. Yet, its success will depend on whether the online process is user-friendly and capable of identifying the most appropriate method for resolving each dispute.

“Only independent empirical research can inform the ongoing design of the online court, which has the ambition to be the long term solution to the access to justice problem.”

Professor Cortés teaches and conducts research in the field of dispute resolution, civil procedure and consumer law. He has written three books and over fifty academic articles and book chapters. He has been invited to speak at international conferences in over a dozen countries, to participate in various expert meetings (including by the UN and the European Commission), to write various reports, and to speak at public hearings by the European Parliament.

He is a fellow of the National Centre for Technology and Dispute Resolutions based at the University of Massachusetts, and in 2012 he was a Research Fellow at Stanford University. He is a member of the Online Dispute Resolution Advisory Group of the Civil Justice Council, which first proposed the launch of the Online Court in England and Wales.

This lecture is another in the Professorial Inaugural Lecture Series at the University of Leicester. These lectures allow new professors at the University an opportunity to share their research with a broad audience, including members of the public, as well as family, invited friends and colleagues.

The lecture will take place between 5.30pm and 6.30pm on Tuesday 9 May in Ken Edwards Building, Lecture Theatre 1. The lecture is open to the public and free to attend, all Inaugural Lectures are followed by a reception.

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