In spite of many technological advances, computer and network tools have still not been completely integrated into the justice system. The persistent attachment to paper and to the physical presence of all stakeholders in court proceedings are examples of this. The justice system is also slowed down by the costs and delays engendered by the length of justice proceedings, which deprives those concerned of means to resolve their disputes. According to the Cyberjustice Laboratory, the slow adoption of technology can be explained by human factors related to the complexity of the justice system, the diversity of the stakeholders, and above all the methods that have been used until today.
Created in 2010 by professors Karim Benyekhlef (University of Montreal) and Fabien Gélinas (McGill University), the Cyberjustice Laboratory is a hub for thought and creativity, where justice processes are modelled and re-imagined. More specifically, the Laboratory analyses the impact of technologies on justice and develops concrete technological tools that are adapted to the reality of justice systems. Benefitting from multidisciplinary academic expertise, the Laboratory’s team is energized by a number of dynamic students as well as by seasoned researchers and professionals. In addition to its permanent team at the Université de Montréal and McGill University, the Laboratory has a pool of experts located around the world: its international team brings together 20 universities and research centres, 36 researchers and 9 partners.
The Laboratory’s research infrastructure is composed of a courtroom for holding trials and simulations, a computer lab, an audiovisual control, a server room where the software modules are developed, and finally a mobile courtroom hosted at McGill for studying the implications of the use of videoconferencing and remote information exchange in a judicial context.