Washington Law Review


The Access to Justice Technology Bill of Rights project, sponsored by the Access to Justice Board of Washington State, included a committee composed of attorneys, judges, technologists, and librarians charged with envisioning an ideal civil justice system. Our goals were to design a system with certain core values (e.g., due process and access to justice), test the system using a complex family law scenario, determine what opportunities technology brings to the table, and identify what barriers technology creates for persons using the system. This Article describes an idealized civil justice system (System) unlike anything that presently exists. The System is composed of people and technology that together provide a factual information-delivery system, an advocate, an adversary, a mediator, an adjudicator, and a proactive enforcer. To be successful, our System needs to use a wide variety of current and next-generation technologies and processes. The System gives the participants in a legal issue the opportunity to resolve their issue by themselves before escalating the issue for mediation or adjudication. In addition, the System plays an active role in the enforcement of whatever resolution is reached. At the core of the System is a cycle in which all participants simultaneously review and choose options. The interaction of all the participants choosing options allows the System to converge to a mutually acceptable resolution of the issue.

First Page