Paris-based tech developer Seraphin.legal and legal tech company FastArbitre have released an open source version of their Open Justice online dispute resolution (ODR) system under a free licence to help encourage wider access to justice. It’s also hoped that this move will help to drive algorithmic transparency and increase trust in semi-automated systems like this.
The Open Justice technology makes it possible to conduct ‘amicable litigation proceedings in a completely dematerialised, confidential and secure way. It simplifies the procedures – filing of documents, exchange of arguments – and assists the parties at each stage of their dispute resolution’ said the two French companies.
The move follows changes in French law that allow arbitration services to apply for certification and to then be able to help solve disputes for anyone who wishes to use that service without needing to go to court.
The companies added: ‘This open source release is an essential contribution … to the development of the digital public service of justice.’
‘It is also a major participation of the French community to the ODR bricks already [put in place] by the Cyberjustice Laboratory of the University of Montreal,’ they added.
Seraphin also highlighted that this move was part of a much wider push globally to support an international community seeking to develop ‘open justice’ and the systems needed to make it possible.
They added that this is not just about exploring legal technology, but can be seen as a way to relieve court congestion and ‘increase the efficiency of justice’.
However, they added that if people are going to put their trust in semi-automated platforms to guide them through a mediation or arbitration process, then they also need to have confidence in the underlying code.
‘Releasing the source code of [our] ODR technology and making it accessible and auditable by all, FastArbitre and Seraphin.legal intend to ensure a total algorithmic transparency,‘ they added.
The initiative is also connected to the Consortium eJustice – which is a ‘project to rethink justice as a public service organised in the interest of citizens, making it closer, more accessible and more efficient’.
If you’d like to have a look around the code, or use it, you can find it on GitHub, here.
Also, in other French legal tech news:
Day One, a French management consulting firm specialised in the legal & compliance market has released a database of 654 legal tech and regtech companies from all over the world. It can be found here. It is free to use.
Olivier Chaduteau, Day One Managing Partner, commented: ‘As part of our belief that knowledge sharing is more successful than knowledge keeping we are glad to make this database open and accessible to anyone interested within the Legal and Compliance community.’