A new charity seeking to promote access to justice by equipping hundreds of community groups with ground-breaking technology to support poor and vulnerable people has been launched. The Jeanie Project is an initiative that is being spearhead by the former Law Society president Lucy Scott-Moncrieff CBE, together with the Society’s head of legal aid Richard Miller and LawWorks’ chief exec Martin Barnes.
An artificial intelligence platform, developed by Riverview Law, has been made available free of charge and the idea is to use the technology to connect people on low incomes with legal advice and information. The idea is to better enable frontline advisers ‘to ask the right questions and direct the information collection, [collate] what is needed and makes the material available, easily and quickly, to experienced lawyers either directly or through brokerage’.
The platform, known as Kim, claims to represent ‘the next wave of AI-driven automation software that empowers knowledge workers with no IT programing experience to create systems that reflect how their work is actually performed, rather than comply with someone else’s idea of how it should be’.
You can read an article by Roger Smith on his Law, Technology and Access to Justice blog here. According to Smith, a pilot will involve Toynbee Hall and will begin with immigration though other scenarios involving areas of ‘poverty’ or ‘social welfare’ law – including debt and employment as well as family – have been developed. Smith writes: ‘Lucy Scott Moncrieff expresses high hopes that it will expand into MPs surgeries (clearly a shrewd tactical move) and other civil society organisations. The theory is that the software will allow organisations to input their own specifically relevant data. Ms Scott Moncrieff says, “This is a way to make access to legal advice more fair, more equal and faster – and it’s beautifully simple.”’
‘As a legal aid lawyer myself, I’m aware that an important part of the process is sitting with the client and exploring what the legal issues might be,’ Scott-Moncrieff told the LegalFutures site.
‘Pro bono and legal aid lawyers are under enormous pressure. This is a way of enabling organisations like food banks to do the initial work and forward the case to lawyers for a possible solution, in a form that allows them to deal with it more easily. MPs’ surgeries are often the first port of call for members of public unable to access overburdened advice agencies. This could help constituency workers, who often have links with local lawyers, send them work more quickly and efficiently.’
Lucy Scott Moncrieff
The Jeanie Project is looking to raise £7,500 through the CrowdJustice site to enable them to work prior to a launch early next year. Support them here.
- JusticeWatch: ‘A disappearing fig leaf exposing the shame of injustice’ - 14th December 2018
- JusticeWatch: ‘The dead rat is still there…’ - 7th December 2018
- Labour vows to reinstate legal aid for benefit apeals - 6th December 2018
- JusticeWatch: A lawyer-free zone - 30th November 2018
- Home Office being challenged over ‘scandal’ of citizenship registration fees - 30th November 2018
- Sumption: Barristers with ‘banner in hand and wig on head look ridiculous’ - 29th November 2018
- JusticeWatch: ‘The Bar is backsliding into a career for the rich’ - 23rd November 2018
- UN expert talks of the ‘gutting’ of legal aid in critique of poverty in the UK - 22nd November 2018
- JusticeWatch: Untold damage - 16th November 2018
- Attorney General calls for ‘zero tolerance’ on disclosure failures - 16th November 2018