That technology increasingly impacts everything that is linked to law – from access to law, legal education, the services provided by the legal industry, and, increasingly, even adjudication (in-court or via alternative dispute resolution)- is a fact. The role that technology plays in these contexts varies, yet one may safely presume that the influence will intensify. In order to reflect on the future, this article canvasses and tries to draw some conclusions based on the comparison of accessibility to foreign and local law in the hard copy versus the digital and Internet-based, as well as the recently unfolding era of algorithms. The examples range from the curious encounter of Central and Eastern European socialist enterprises and law students with punitive damages and strict tortious liability known in the USA through the most recent launching of the first transnational letter of credit transaction exploiting blockchain technology. The advancements generated by technology advancements in these three stages are then reflected upon primarily from the perspectives of (i) researchers and lecturers of law as well as legal education; (ii) company boards and managements (especially foreign market-oriented business firms) formulating their business policies; and (iii) regulators as well as law and policy-makers. The article concludes with thoughts on the broader implications of enhanced access to law. In particular, it posits that technology has made the shift from ‘mechanical’ to ‘analytic access to law’ possible. Yet it also raises the more fundamental question of whether the advancements denote, and the selected examples properly illustrate, that a more fundamental shift is unfolding: a shift from governance by law to governance by technology?
Tibor Tajti (Thaythy), The impact of technology on access to law and the concomitant repercussions: past, present, and the future (from the 1980s to present time), Uniform Law Review, https://doi.org/10.1093/ulr/unz019. Published: 5 June 2019.