The Threat of Technology to Access to Justice

By Abe Chauhan

This essay was awarded third place in  UCL CAJ SPBC writing competition to answer the question: “Technology is a useful tool for furthering access to justice”

Many are heralding a new era of ‘posthuman governance’[1] in which complex social issues are ‘deconstructed into neatly defined, structured and well-scoped problems that can be solved algorithmically’.[2] However, new technologies are not neutral and egalitarian tools but human creations and their effects on access to justice depend on the way in which they are designed, deployed and operated by public authorities. Promises of a digital technocracy disguise ruthless cost-cutting measures which will likely perpetuate structural injustice and worsen access to justice. In particular, the digitisation of courts and tribunals could introduce access barriers and offend principles of natural justice (Part II) and automated decision-making (“ADM”) systems look set to outpace the development of traditional judicial review doctrines with the result that claimants’ rights may become materially unenforceable before the courts (Part III). As long as technological solutions are developed to prioritise efficiency in monetary terms, access to justice will continue to be under threat.

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Outlawing the Practice of ‘Female Genital Mutilation’ in Sudan: An advanced step towards preaching health as a Human Right

By Sahajveer Baweja

Our guest contributor is currently a 3rd-year B.A.LL.B. student at Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala, India. 

Recently, Sudan has made a landmark move by amending its Criminal Code and penalising the archaic practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) making it punishable by three years of imprisonment. FGM as a practice stems from the social customs of a girl’s tribe or ethnic group and aids to define her in the context of her community. The practice of FGM is widespread in 28 African countries especially in Sudan where 87% of the Sudanese women have been its victim. Statistically, almost 100 to 140 million women in Africa have undergone the ritual of FGM in the last 50 years. Moreover, such practice of FGM has been traced in a few minority groups in Asia and Middle East Countries as well, but the chances of occurrence there are less and very limited because of strong penal provisions.

Continue reading “Outlawing the Practice of ‘Female Genital Mutilation’ in Sudan: An advanced step towards preaching health as a Human Right”

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