On Wednesday 13 November the Law Department held the final public event of its Centenary Celebrations. “Code and Conduct: the future of legal professions” brought together legal futurologist Professor Richard Susskind, Chair of Government Technology Panels, Christina Blacklaws, and Supreme Court Deputy President Lord Reed to discuss how information technology has had and will continue to have transformative impact on lawyering and on law.
The evening opened with a short lecture from Professor Susskind who discussed how technology could open up access to justice through digital access to courts and judicial decision-making. He painted an exciting prospect of online access to justice and even automated processes for small value claims. A short response from Dr. Eva Micheler discussed themes from his talk. The following short lecture was from Christina Blacklaws who discussed influential work of the LawTech delivery panel which she set up in 2018 as Law Society President. She highlighted how technology was changing the practice of law and some of the exciting opportunities for innovative legal services it offered. This was followed by a short response from Dr. Orla Lynskey. Finally Lord Reed was interviewed by Professor Andrew Murray who explored with Lord Reed how technology was changing and would continue to change the role of the courts and the judiciary. Lord reed was keen to stress the human element of judges and judging which could not easily be replicated by technology.
The evening was a great success and provided an exciting insight into the challenges faced by the Law Department, its graduates and law firms and the legal profession in general in the next 100 years.