Online Courts Hackathon
01.07.17 - 02.07.17 | 12.00 - 12.00
Online Courts Hackathon

OMG we are organising our biggest hackathon yet. Legal Geek has teamed up with Richard Susskind, Society for Computers and Law and The Judiciary to launch an Online Courts Hackathon. 

Read a review (with photos and videos) of our Online Courts Hackathon 

Learn what a hackathon is? Read our guide to a legal hackathon.

Half of London’s top 20 law firms along with leading UK universities are competing in the world’s first online courts hackathon this weekend with teams flying in from as far away as India and Australia. There were around 400 applicants for the event, which begins at noon on Saturday and ends at noon on Sunday with a closing address by the Lord Chief Justice.

The Hackathon is being jointly staged by the Society for Computers and Law, Legal Geek, the Judiciary of England and Wales, and HM Courts & Tribunals Service. It is being hosted in London at the University of Law.

A live video of the event is planned via

What are online courts?

The first generation of online courts will involve judges deciding cases on the basis of evidence and argument submitted electronically. Their introduction in England and Wales (for civil, family, and tribunal disputes) will be one of the most significant reforms to the justice system in the past two centuries. Supported by both the Government and the Judiciary, the motivation behind online courts is to provide greater access to justice in a more cost efficient way than the conventional court system. While the government is leading the transformation (and is investing around £1 billion in modernising the courts), it is recognised that the design of the online courts would benefit from the input of the wider communities of lawyers, court users, law students, and technologists.

What will happen at the hackathon?

The idea of the Hackathon is to bring these communities together over a 24-hour period and in a friendly and yet competitive spirit, to invite teams to come up with designs, solutions, systems, and technologies for various parts of the online court. Participants will be invited to design various tools to support online courts – for example, tools to help litigants structure their legal arguments, organise their documents, negotiate settlements without advisers, improve access to legal advice as well as systems that will promote open justice and even machine learning solutions that will help analyse all the data generated by the online courts. Prizes will be awarded for the best ideas. Pizzas and coffee will be consumed in great quantities while the teams work through the night.

Hackathon WTF?

Professor Richard Susskind OBE, President of the Society of Computers and Law and one of the online courts pioneers:

“Online courts are likely to be the most significant development in our court system since the nineteenth century, enabling far greater and affordable access to justice. We are bowled over by the response to the Hackathon.”

Jimmy Vestbirk, founder of Legal Geek:

“We believe online courts are the perfect application of technology to improve access to justice. Legal Geek, the world’s largest community of LawTech startups, is proud to co-host a hackathon which could generate ideas to shape the future of our court system. This is a once in a life time opportunity for students, coders, designers, legal professionals and innovators to shape the future of online courts.”

Susan Acland-Hood, CEO of HM Courts and Tribunals said:

“We want to take the best justice system in the world and improve it though new technology and modern ways of working. Our existing plans for online courts will help people resolve disputes quickly in ways that suit them but we also want to work with others who can bring us new ideas. The excellent teams competing in this event will be contributing to something that really matters – the delivery of a better justice system for the future.”

Learn more:

We love organising hackathons and this forms part of our Law for Good not-for-profit to help coders donate time to legal charities. In 2016 our first hackathon was themed around Law Centres and appointment management, we went on to organise a hackathon for the advice desert in mid-2016. This is our biggest hackathon yet which could literally change the way justice is delivered in the UK. Pretty amazing opportunity. Read about our previous online hackathons.

Q: Can I watch a video of your previous hackathons for a flavour of this event?