Avainsana: court

Episode 47: Video Killed the Witnessing Fear with Nina Immonen and Tero Jyrhämä

Tero Jyrhämä and Nina Immonen.

Witnesses play a very important role as they help to clarify what has happened by telling the judge or jury everything they know about an event. Although their role is necessary in providing real-life elements and facts to the case to be judged, they possibly are the most neglected group of stakeholders when it comes to the court proceedings.

The process is often designed in a way that assumes witnesses already know how to behave throughout the trial. And while this might be the reality for some expert witnesses who go to court quite often, this certainly isn’t so with ordinary witnesses for whom a court proceeding probably is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of event. 

Based on research, witnesses take the task seriously, but feel stressed and as if they were accused – even the invitation letters are written in an imperative language and there is a lack of information, for instance how to get to the courtroom, what is going to happen during the process and what their duties are about.

In this episode we interview senior specialist and district court judge Nina Immonen and public legal aid attorney Tero Jyrhämä, who took the challenge to create better experiences for witnesses with a group of students at the Laurea legal design and legal expertise programme. Tero and Nina tell us about the project and what they learned about the experiences of witnesses and how to best address them with human-centric design. We also discuss how to make legal design more mainstream in public legal services.

The guidance videos for witnesses that we are talking about can be found here: As a Witness in a Trial – YouTube and Tuomioistuinvirasto − Todistajana oikeudenkäynnissä – YouTube

Nina Immonen is a district court judge, currently working as a senior specialist at the National Court Administration in Finland, with a recently developed interest in legal design. ”I feel passionate about new ways of communicating the legal field to people. It’s always a win win.”

Tero Jyrhämä is a next generation lawyer serving his legal knowledge understandably and emphatically. Today Tero works as a Public Legal Aid Attorney, incorporating his service design skills into his everyday work to the benefit of both his clients and employer.

This episode is brought to you by Precisely – the CLM platform setting a new standard for digital contracting. For more information, go to preciselycontractsl.com/ldp.

16. Episode: Systemic Change in Law with Nóra Al Haider

Nóra Al Haider.

Good news guys! In order to make law better, lawyers don’t have to become designers or coders. But what we need to have are curiosity and an open mindset. In this episode Henna and Nina are joined by Nora Al Haider to discuss how to make more of a systematic change in law.  

Quite often, lawyers see legal problems only in a legal way. But because law is interlinked to other systems, we have to start inviting other disciplines into the space of law without judgement. And we have to go beyond design and simply start to ask other professionals how they solve problems and explore in multidisciplinary teams. And when we learn new ways to solve problems from other disciplines, we create new methodologies and that is where the change begins.  

Nowadays, the legal industry turns to legal design and legal technology when trying to find a way towards more human-centric law, but those two are not going to solve our problems alone. We need more systematic change and we have to make sure that the projects aiming to change the law and the legal system aren’t just single projects happening here and there. Because of her unique and interesting career path and background, Nora can see the differences between the American and European legal systems and she shares her insights on what should be done in both systems in order to make law more accessible in a more sustainable way.

Nóra Al Haider is the Policy and Design Lead at the Stanford Legal Design Lab. Nóra is a multilingual lawyer and interdisciplinary researcher from the Netherlands. She combines the fields of law, design and tech to increase access to justice and equity in the legal system. 

Her pioneering and innovative creations from social media bots that provide legal advice to analyzing the legal needs of users on online platforms earned her international acclaim in the legal field. Nóra’s legal design projects and interactive art installations have been spotlighted at courts, bar associations, legal organizations and in law schools around the world. She is driven by merging various disciplines, processes, and methodologies to enact systemic change in the justice system. Nóra holds a Bachelor (honours) and Research Master in Law from Utrecht University.

5. Episode: Innovation in Courts with Andrea Lindblom

Andrea Lindblom

Courts, like all legal institutions, are designed for lawyers. However, the people whose lives going to court affect the most are the legal laymen. How these real end-users of courts would benefit, if their needs were addressed by re-designing the court experience?

In this fifth episode of the podcast series we talk about the possibilities of innovation, technology and legal design in courts with Andrea Lindblom, who works as the Chief of Administration in the District Court of Helsingborg, Sweden. 

Courts are known to be the blind services of the justice, pursuing objectivity, formality and the rule of law. For non-lawyers, however, a court process can be full of obscurities and evoke feelings of disconnection, anxiety and lack of control over one’s own case, not to mention the possibility of financial losses. For most of the people going to court is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, often leaving bitter-sweet memories that last for life. But what if legal design could help make the court experience more satisfying, and not just for the end-users but the lawyers as well?

Making courts more human-centric is not the only update courts might need these days. Courts are struggling to keep up with the rapid technological development and the new ways of providing court services in the digital world – all while resources are tight and case numbers going high. Experimenting for new ideas does not come easy, though, as lawyers are traditionally trained to look backwards when solving problems. Design thinking mindsets such as ”fail fast” and ”be curious” are rarely combined to the work done in courts.

How to initiate the needed change in courts, Andrea? “I think it is quite urgent that courts have an open mindset towards, for example, new  technology, and new ways of doing things. We need to find ways to experiment lightly, gently, because it’s much better for us to fail small and early in a process, then massively and late”.

Andrea Lindblom graduated from Lund University (law) in 2009. She has been working at Helsingborg District Court since 2011. During the last few years she has focused on issues relating to the presence of the courts and judges on social media and how digitalization affects the courts. In March 2019 Helsingborg District Court arranged Sweden’s first legal tech & design workshop in the public sector. Andrea was awarded Legal Innovator of the Year in 2019 and was one of the winners in the category Public Services, Politics & Social at European Women of Legal Tech in 2020.