What, in your opinion, will be the impact of technology on commercial litigation in the next five years?
Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Swedish authorities, including courts, are in general keen to adopt new technology. As of the time of the writing of this article, Stockholm District Court is digitalising virtually all of its internal file management as well as updating all the technology of its courtrooms. The use of participation in court trials by phone or video conference is very common and witnesses are often allowed to give testimony by such means.
For small commercial disputes/credit collection, digital systems are already in use, allowing clients to access proceedings online in real time; these systems will allow law firms to become paperless offices, saving paper, reducing archive space and administrative tasks.
In the years to come, law firms will also have to deal with artificial intelligence that may replace lawyers in some legal matters, impacting lawyers’ careers and the growth of law firms.
Technology has already been adopted by the judicial system where we now have online filing of claims, applications and requests. Parties can follow up on the progress of their claim online, and can obtain memorandums, documents, judgments from the online archive.
The UAE is adopting what is known as the smart government where almost everything can be done electronically. Therefore, technology will have a huge impact on litigation which in my opinion will, once it has matured, reduce the time and effort of the parties and the courts and will make litigation simpler and more time and cost effective. Having said that, these things do not happen over night and will always have room for improvement.
Saudi Arabian courts and tribunals have enthusiastically adopted information technology. Most now require claims to be filed online, and some tribunals require submissions to be provided in electronic format. As a next step, service by electronic means will be implemented. This trend is likely to increase.
The courts have already started digitalising court proceedings. Within 5 years, we expect most oral hearings to be based on electronically stored documents and not printed documents.
Technology—particularly automation and artificial intelligence—will continue to streamline the litigation process. For example, some law firms have started to utilize artificial intelligence to assist in reviewing documents for discovery, a development necessitated by the rise of massive electronic productions.
Austria has a well-tested e-government system in place. As far as the Austrian judicature is concerned, court filings are made electronically (with very rare exceptions owed to document file sizes) and Austrian attorneys and notaries public are even under a legal obligation to communicate with the courts exclusively via the electronic filing system "WebERV" (web-basierter elektronische Rechtsverkehr). WebERV was first introduced in 2007. As for the future, we may expect an increase in the use of technological tools in the preparation and conduct of proceedings, such as 3D animation tools or virtual reality devices to allow for a more interactive scrutiny of the evidence, e.g. in construction litigation.