CourtCorrect was delighted to be invited to the launch of the Online Procedure Rules Committee (OPRC) this Monday, the 20th of November at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in Westminster. The event, organised by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) and the UK Judiciary, explained the role and plans of the OPRC.
The OPRC was formed under the Judicial Review and Courts Act 2022 to help develop standards and governance for the provision of dispute resolution services to consumers and services before they reach the court system. With a specific focus on the needs of individuals and small businesses, the OPRC aims to support both the pubic and privates sector in streamlining and standardising the mechanisms and processes available to parties to resolve their disputes before it reaches the court system. This objective is particularly important against the backdrop of increasing court fees and resolution times, which recently hit a record high of 79.9 weeks for a case in the small claims tribunal to go to trial.
The OPRC, which consists of representatives from the UK Judiciary, the professional services sector and access to justice initiatives, will cover Family and Civil jurisdictions. While the OPRC is not looking to develop any particular product or service, it does aim to set standards and governance for organisations that facilitate dispute resolution outside of the court system. Major projects are likely to include items such as:
data interoperability between providers, so that consumers and businesses can send their cases from one dispute resolution service to another via API without the need to resubmit the same information in multiple formats
governance rules for providers that reflect the UK’s approach to the rule of law, such as hearing both sides and providing fair and accurate resolution
supporting consumers and businesses in finding the right service for their problem, especially given the hundreds of public and private providers already active in this space
looking towards other jurisdictions for inspiration, notably Canada, the UAE and Singapore
This initiative aligns directly with CourtCorrect’s mission of improving improving the resolution of consumer disputes by providing advanced AI technology to relevant stakeholders in the customer journey. Indeed, most of the disputes our customers resolve with the assistance of CourtCorrect AI fall within the remit of the OPRC’s focus on pre-court civil resolution. We welcome this initiative and agree with the view that the courts are not the right forum to resolve the majority of the millions of claims and complaints consumers and businesses encounter every year.
More specifically, given that the work of the OPRC is now underway, we are looking forward to collaborating with our customers to ensure their dispute resolution mechanisms will meet the new governance rules set to be introduced. Concretely, this means:
reviewing and aligning data standards on pre-court disputes to ensure that the way our customers record dispute data aligns with the rules set to be introduced
supporting the development of API integrations between the private and public sectors, which also has the potential to save our customers previous time when sharing data with other stakeholders in the system, such as Ombudsservices
applying to join one of the sub-committees of the OPRC tasked with reviewing technology initiatives in this space to make sure the concerns of our customers are represented in the discussion and translated into policy
It was a great event and we were delighted to have been invited. It was also lovely to run into friends & colleagues, such as Tim Wallis of Trust Mediation or Richard Susskind, a leading expert in LegalTechnology.