Digital natives Lawyers and Judges in 2023


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A presentation at CTC 2013 addressing possible futures for Bench, Chambers and Bar in 2023

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Digital natives Lawyers and Judges in 2023

  1. 1. Digital Natives Children of the New Paradigm
  2. 2. Judge David Harvey LLB Auckland M Jur Waikato PhD Auckland A Judge of the District Court Auckland New Zealand Judge David Harvey has been a judge of the district court in New Zealand for 25 years. He also teaches law and information technology for the Faculty of Law, Auckland University, and has written a text on Internet and computer technology law titled, now in its 3rd edition. He is consultant editor to Butterworths Electronic Business and Technology Law and a member of the editorial board for Butterworths Technology Law Forum. He has written extensively in the field of law and technology and has presented a number of papers both in New Zealand and internationally on law and technology matters. He graduated with an LLB from Auckland University in 1969, MJur from University of Waikato in 1994, and PhD from Auckland University in 2012. His doctoral dissertation was on the influence of a new technology (the printing press) on law and legal culture in England in the Early Modern period. Judge Harvey continues his doctoral interest on the immediate and wider impact of new technologies on the law and legal culture and is developing his theories on his blog at
  3. 3. Mark Prensky
  4. 4. Digital Immigrants
  5. 5. Digital Natives
  6. 6. It’s all about how we process information
  7. 7. Digital Technologies give meaning to McLuhan’s comment:
  8. 8. The medium is the message
  9. 9. The impact of the digital communications technologies – a convergence of everything that has gone before - lies in the way in which it redefines the use of information and the way we access it, process it, use it, respond to it and our expectations of it and its availability.
  10. 10. The Properties of Digital Technologies • Persistence • Continuing disruptive change • Dynamic information • Delinearisation of information • Dissociative enablement • Permissionless innovation • Availability • Participation • Searchability • Retrievability
  11. 11. The information expectations of Digital Natives have been shaped and moulded by these qualities.
  12. 12. Their uses and expectations of what happens in the on-line world are quite different to those of their parents (digital immigrants) or those of my generation (digital aliens).
  13. 13. Thus any solution must be premised upon an understanding of the technology and the way that it shapes behaviours and values underlying those behaviours
  14. 14. The solution must also recognise another McLuhan aphorism
  15. 15. The Digital Native Lawyer A Speculation
  16. 16. • Adelaide, Zoe and Olivia are currently law students at Auckland Law School. • They are Digital Natives. • They are highly accomplished students • They also made a video of a Law School Revue item. • They put it up on YouTube - and Vimeo • It went viral – 2 million hits in 5 days • They are the lawyers of 2023
  17. 17. 2023 - Olivia is a Litigator • Last time she appeared in a Court building was when she was admitted to the Bar • Court buildings aren’t being built any more • Court appearances are all done by video-link – that’s about to change
  18. 18. • Olivia is part of a generation of barristers that has never litigated in a courtroom. She doesn't need to waste time travelling to and from court and often (sneakily) only dresses up her top half. • She wears track pants and slippers. • Skype is yesterday’s communications system • But Holog means she will have to start dressing up
  19. 19. • Olivia works in a traditional Law Office which prefers personal presence to remote participation or teleworking. • She has decided to hand in her notice and has been accepted for a litigation position with a “virtual practice” that has no office other than an administrative centre. • She prefers the flexibility of teleworking. • Olivia’s job interview was via Holog.
  20. 20. Teleworking • She can attend to “file work” at times to suit. • Any time constraints are imposed by Court appearances which run on an appointment basis or when she wishes to Holog with a client.
  21. 21. Trial without a Courthouse • No longer will the participants gather in one building. • Holog makes virtual “presence” the way of trials and hearings. • Jurors gather in a virtual space, log in with a unique ID assigned to them at the beginning of the trial. They will not gather together. They will deliberate on-line. • The lawyers will conduct the case from their offices. Their clients will be virtually present. • Those in custody will access the hearing from a suite in the prison.
  22. 22. Evidence in the Trial • Civil hearings will be conducted in the same way. Evidence will be in digital form. • If there is a requirement for a physical item to be produced 3D printers will “re-create” the object.
  23. 23. Evidence is Everywhere • The “Admissibility of Information Act 2020” has finally removed the word “evidence” from the legal lexicon - recognises the nature of digital information and its qualities. • CCTV cameras, Google Glasses and similar recording devices mean that apart from a few blind spots most of the day to day activities of citizens are recorded. • The notoriously unreliable method of the oral recounting of events by an eye-witness is replaced by large scale data aggregation of information from a number of sources that are made available to the virtual hearing. • Witnesses will be a conduit for the production of information or commentary on events that are the subject of data.
  24. 24. Putting it Briefly • “Evidence will be provided by way of a mash- up of various real time collections obtained via Google implants” Rick Shera @lawgeeknz
  25. 25. The Judge 2023 • Chambers are located at home or at a small office. The facilities – primarily providing the technology – are provided by the State. • Universal fibre and broadband mean that the old problems of lag and jumpy images are a thing of the past. • The Judge has to dress up even less than Olivia. The gown conceals his T-shirt and shorts.
  26. 26. Law Clerks • Clerks work collaboratively using Cloud based utilities and a secure Cloud presence for the work they do for their Judge. • Most of them are involved in post-grad work at on-line Universities as well as clerking for their Judge. • Occasionally they will gather via Holog and at the end of the year they all physically congregate at a restaurant for a celebratory dinner.
  27. 27. The Ninth Circuit Approach • It is rumoured that Judge Kozinski still takes his clerks for a weekend in Las Vegas.
  28. 28. • The “Susskind Model” of analysing and decomposing legal work into component parts means that most citizens are able to attend to most simple legal tasks themselves. • On-line standardised documentation that citizens can complete and file either from their own information systems or from a kiosk or cubicle legal service realises the dream of the paperless court.