In early July, Gilbert + Tobin flew a team of two lawyers, a designer, a technolegal and UNSW Law student Adrian Agius to London to compete in the Online Courts Hackathon.

The event was hosted by the Society for Computers and Law, LegalGeek and the UK Ministry of Justice in support of their billion-dollar strategy to deliver technology improvements in the court system. With technology and law icons including Professor Richard Susskind and Lord Chief Justice John Thomas in attendance, the event attracted participation from all over the globe, with some 200 participants taking part.

The hackathon ran through the night for a straight 24hrs, with teams tackling 8 key areas: form-filling, order drafting, online hearing, argument-building, outcome prediction, negotiating and settlement, dispute classification and bundles.

The Gilbert + Tobin team focussed on outcome prediction, building an application dubbed ‘ireckon’ which leveraged data analytics to predict case outcomes based on empirical evidence. The team qualified for the final round of pitches, a feat which saw them placed in the top 9 out of 40 plus teams, going on to win the award for the best team to participate in the event. The overall winner was UK legal engineering firm Wavelength Law.

The success of the event no doubt signals the potential for such an event to be run in Australia, delivering ideas and technology to an ageing justice system.

UNSW Law Student, Adrian Agius is currently organising a hackathon, HackJustice #2, to be held from 20 - 21 July and sponsored by UNSW Law, Gilbert & Tobin, the Michael Crouch Innovation Centre and many more. HackJustice #2 will look at changes in the legal industry, with increasing demand and limited resources creating bigger barriers to justice than ever before, particularly for community legal centres. 

All are welcome to view the “Pitch and Presentation” section of the hackathon, on Friday 21 July at 6pm in the Michael Crouch Innovation Centre. Visit the HackJustice website for more information.