28 Mar 2018

Raymond Wacks on the Future of the Law 2

„The legal system lies at the heart of any society, protecting rights, imposing duties,  and

establishing a framework for the conduct

of almost every social, political, and economic activity.”

“Some argue that the law is in its death throes while others postulate a contrary prognosis that discerns numerous signs of law’s enduring strength. Which is it? Curiously, there is some truth in both standpoints. ………there is ample evidence of the infirmity of many advanced legal systems. Symptoms include

the privatization of law

(settlement of cases, plea-bargaining, ADR, the spectacular rise of regulatory agencies with wide discretionary powers, and the decline of the rule of law in several countries). On the other hand, there has been a revolution in role of law that suggests it is both resilient and robust. This transformation includes the extension of the law’s tentacles into the private domain in pursuit of efficiency, social justice, or other political goals, the globalization of law and its internationalization through the United Nations, regional organizations and the European Union.”

“It is not merely the law but its institutions and practitioners whose future will be profoundly affected by the developments in information technology. It is improbable that judges will be replaced by computers (thought this prospect is not without its supporters), but

the administration of justice

in many advanced societies has already undergone significant changes and will continue to do so.”

“Both evidence and legal sources can effortlessly be retrieved electronically. A more radical development might be

the establishment of virtual court

in which the parties conduct proceedings without the need for corporeal proximity, thereby decreasing cost and delay.”

Raymond Wacks, LAW. A very short introduction, OXFORD University Press, 2008, ISBN  978-0-19-921496-9