Online Case Resolution Systems: Enhancing Access, Fairness, Accuracy, and Efficiency
Michigan Journal of Race & Law, Vol. 21:205, 2016
45 Pages Posted: 9 May 2016 Last revised: 22 Jun 2016
Date Written: Spring 2016
Online case resolution (OCR) systems have the potential to dramatically increase access to our justice system. Part I introduces the concept of an OCR system, how it might work in practice, and its likely impact on courts and citizens. Part II argues that OCR systems can lower many of the barriers to going to court by reducing the need for face-to-face resolution of disputes; cutting the amount of time needed for hearings; mitigating litigant confusion and fear; allowing asynchronous scheduling that can accommodate work and child-care schedules; and offering a more reliable and easier-to-use means for litigants to voice their views. These advantages should especially benefit those of lower socioeconomic status, who often suffer disproportionately under the status quo. Part III contends that OCR systems need not compromise a judge's or a prosecutor's decision-making process but can actually enhance both. OCR systems can provide more, better, and easier-to-use information, and by removing a litigant’s appearance (race, gender, weight, etc.) from a judge’s consideration, can render outcomes less subject to implicit biases.
Keywords: resolution, technology, access to justice, courts, platform
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