Cyberjustice in times of pandemic

At a time when the justice system is idling, the Cyberjustice Laboratory is brimming with innovations that are helping to speed up the process here in Canada and in France.

Online court hearings, remote mediation, virtual courtrooms: the innovations of the Cyberjustice Laboratory of the Faculty of Law of the Université de Montréal are being used to their full potential in these times of health crisis and confinement, when the judiciary is forced to operate in slow motion.

Headed by law professor Karim Benyekhlef, the Laboratory develops Web platforms that enable end-to-end “dematerialization” of judicial processes and to simplify the interactions between judicial actors.

“As Professor Benyekhlef points out, the efforts undertaken in recent years to unleash the potential of digital technologies and review the justice offering in our societies take on a whole new dimension in these times of health crisis and social isolation. If, in ordinary times, cyberjustice contributes to making justice more accessible and concrete for all our fellow citizens, it becomes, in these times of crisis, the primary prerequisite for the resilience of justice in our societies and, consequently, the only guarantee of the social and economic protection of citizens by the courts. A protection which seems essential to conceive and design a way out of the crisis”. 

Concretely, these platforms permit, here in Canada and in France, the administration of justice entirely remotely, notably by relying on online hearings or by promoting remote negotiation and conflict mediation.

Among the solutions provided by the Laboratory, the following remains accessible 24/7 despite the confinement caused by the global health crisis. These platforms specialized in mediation and amicable settlement of conflicts find a strong echo from litigants as they allow to resolve various type of disputes : 

  • Disputes during the confinement period - Urgence Médiation
  • Condominium Law  - Condominium Authority Tribunal
  • Consumer Law - Office de la protection du consommateur
  • Labour Law - Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail

A free mediation platform in times of health crisis


On April 1st , in France, the Médicys Mediation Centre launched with the UdeM Cyberjustice Laboratory a free online emergency mediation service to respond to the COVID-19 crisis in that country.

For more information, click here.

The PARLe platform : a necessity in times of crisis 

PARLe promotes the amicable resolution of conflicts by relying on online negotiation and mediation, or even, in the event of failure, on the remote intervention of a judge.

"Several versions of PARLe were successfully implemented in Quebec and Ontario before the COVID-19 pandemic," says Karim Benyekhlef. They now make it possible to ensure the continuity of online dispute resolution services in areas where traditional courts have had to shut down. Thanks to this platform, consumer, co-ownership or labour justice continues in this period of containment".

PARLe - Office de la protection du consommateur 

Since 2016, the PARLe project of Quebec's Office de la protection du consommateur (OPC) has made it possible to settle consumer disputes between a consumer and a Quebec-based merchant without a judge.

For more information, click here.

PARLe - Ontario Condominium Authority Tribunal 

The Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT) became in 2017 the first fully virtual condominium law tribunal in Canada specialized in co-ownership law.

For more information, click here.

PARLe - Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail 

The Cyberjustice Laboratory launched in March in Quebec a brand new online dispute resolution platform with the Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail to help mediate conflicts between employers and non-unionized workers.

For more information, click here.

Innovative projects in process

The creation of a virtual court

The Cyberjustice Laboratory team is working on the development of a Virtual Tribunal that can be easily and quickly configured to the needs of a Court or Tribunal to automate all stages of a judicial process. If the Virtual Tribunal were to have been adopted by a judicial court or administrative tribunal, they would have been in a position to maintain the continuity of their operations during this period of confinement. 

For more information, click here.


“In this exceptional period, when contacts between individuals must be limited to the maximum, the solutions developed at the Laboratory enable us to alleviate to some extent the difficulties posed by social distancing by making the justice system more accessible and efficient for everyone,” concludes Professor Benyekhlef.

This content has been updated on 09/03/2020 at 9 h 04 min.