Welcome from the Honourable Nicola Roxon

Chair, Sir Zelman Cowen Centre
Former Commonwealth Attorney-General


The Sir Zelman Cowen Centre is delighted to be offering another timely opportunity for legal sector thought leaders to meet, debate, learn and discuss the hot button issue of Law & Courts in an Online World.

After the very enthusiastic response to Professor Richard Susskind’s oration earlier in the year, the Sir Zelman Cowen Centre realised the timing was right to explore more deeply the import of the IT revolution on law, lawyers and the wider community.  You can see from our stellar program the depth and breadth of the issues to be covered from a local and international perspective.

Will technology break down the age old barriers to accessing law – or make the problems worse?

Can online dispute resolution deliver quicker and better outcomes for the community?

These and many other questions will be explored at our conference with a difference.  We plan to use the opportunity to bring together both the thinkers and the doers (across technology and law), to meet and discuss issues together and then continue conversations well past the Conference itself. Pre-Conference workshops and post-Conference masterclasses allow you to scale up your level of engagement on key topics.

Thank you to our partners who share an understanding of the importance of shaping the future of technology in law.

We look forward to your attendance and engagement in this critical debate.

Yours in friendship
The Honourable Nicola Roxon


At a glance…

The Law and Courts in an Online World Conference 
was held on 8 & 9 November 2016

Download our Conference Brochure – Law and Courts in an Online World

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International Keynotes


Law for All – access to justice information and legal services via emerging technologies to deliver client-centered solutions.

The Future of the Profession – disruptive change and emerging business models, implications for legal education and training, new work/new jobs.

The Future of Courts and Tribunals –  business analytics, performance measurement, distributed courts & connected justice, video conferencing and beyond, digital evidence, E-filing, devices, records, reporting, IT governance.

Online Dispute Resolution – breakthroughs from across the world, opportunities and challenges.

Small Office/Home Office in an Online World (SOHO) – ‘tricks of the trade’ to improve efficiency, productivity, and reduce risk.

Feature sessions


Sessions included:

  • The Year of Digital Inclusion – Implications for Law
  • The Future of #A2J- Current and future innovations in access to justice (A2J).Will technology break down the age old barriers to accessing the law – or make the problems worse?
  • Out of Africa with the Chief Justice of Rwanda – lessons from developing countries leapfrogging Western industrial infrastructure.
  • Robo Lawyers? The Limits of Artificial Intelligence – What will lawyers do in the future? What parts of the profession will be overtaken by digital services? What should practices do to preserve themselves in this new era? Exploring artificial intelligence, the use of precedents, ‘citizen-lawyers’ and the new era of smart documents.
  • Online Dispute Resolution: The International Experience – Drawing on a broad variety of sources – comparative studies, statistics, case law and jurisprudence – our international panellists discussed their experiences in Canada, Amsterdam, Europe and the US.
  • Global case studies of success and failure.
  • Networking for collaborative sharing of ideas, experiences and solutions, at the Conference and beyond.
  • Pop-up Primers (“digital for dummies”) throughout the week.



Media coverage

Online dispute resolution is coming, how far can technology take us?
Judge Dory Reiling, Judge and Court IT expert in online dispute resolution, Amsterdam, talks to Jon Faine about whether computers could replace judges on ABC Radio’s, The Conversation Hour.

Compelling Case for Online Dispute Resolution
Interview with Colin Rule, founder and chairman of Modria, by Melissa Coade, Lawyers Weekly

Rwanda’s ‘justice on the grass’
Chief Justice of Rwanda, the Honourable Professor Sam Rugege, talks to Damien Carrick on ABC Radio’s, The Law Report, about Rwanda’s Gacaca Community Court, or ‘Justice on a Bed of Soft Green Grass’, where community and elected leaders known for their integrity and wisdom, gathered to discuss and resolve conflicts.

Law Firm Strategy Day
9 November


Designed for small office/home office lawyers wanting practical ways to modernise and increase the value of their practice.

The Law Firm Strategy Day ran on day 2 of the Law and Courts in an Online World conference, Wednesday 9 November 2016.

To view the Law Firm Strategy Day program, click here.

Innovation & Design Thinking Workshop
7 November

The Innovation & Design Thinking Workshop brought together thought leaders from across the legal sector, in order to facilitate innovative thinking and creative solutions to perennial roadblocks in the justice system .

10 & 11 November 

Visiting keynote speakers provided specialist masterclasses immediately after the 2 day conference.

Thursday 10 November – Online Dispute Resolution: the International Experience, faciliated by Judge Dory Reiling & Shannon Salter

Friday 11 November – Court CIO Masterclass facilitated by Jim McMillan


CISCO, Department of Justice & Regulation Victoria, Jade Barnet, PwC, Victoria Legal Aid, Victorian Legal Services Board & Commissioner, WorkSafe Victoria.

Who attended?

Practitioners, judiciary, court and tribunal administrators, public servants, practice managers and those making strategic decisions to take advantage of smart and competitive technologies in the delivery of justice.