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Taking Dispute Resolution Online – Rechtwijzer 2.0

Taking Dispute Resolution Online – Rechtwijzer 2.0

How do we make the journey through justice easier and smooth for parties regardless of location and circumstance? Think of the best, smoothest, simplest friction-free online consumer experience you’ve ever had and now imagine it was that easy to resolve a dispute or legal dilemma. I hope you’re left feeling as inspired as I was after this interview with Jin Ho Verdonschot – who is dreaming big dreams and turning them into a reality one piece code at a time. He’s been instrumental in the development of Rechtwijzer 2.0, an online platform that supports people throughout their justice journey.

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Transcript

Full Transcript

Aled Davies: Hi everyone. My name is Aled Davis founder of MediatorAcademy.com, home of the passionate mediator. You know what we do on here, we interview the very best mediators and thought leaders from right around the world. We find out how they’ve become successful, how they approach particular aspects of their mediation practice and handle all sorts of challenges and dilemmas. It’s also a chance for us to learn about new challenges and opportunities in our field.

All right, big question for today’s interview is this. How do we make it easy for parties to access justice and engage in mediation, regardless of location and circumstance? Well, my guest today is a true pioneer in this field and is tireless in his pursuit of developing and enhancing user-friendly interfaces for the justice system.

Now, for the past eight years, he’s been utilising technology to build better user interfaces for the justice system. He combines expertise from the dispute systems design, access to justice, UX/UI design, and online dispute resolution. He helps courts and other justice-sector organisations to update and innovate their procedures and justice processes.

He’s initiated, designed and implemented several IT-based justice applications in both the developing and the developed world. He was involved in the development of the micro-justice research and innovation programme, that focused on designing effective justice processes and business models that serve the poor.

He is an experienced facilitator of workshops and focus groups with policy makers, legal professionals, as well as with end-users. In law school, he modernised the largest Dutch Law Review, including its circulation and business model. He’s been instrumental in the development of Rechtwijzer 2.0 an online application that supports people throughout their justice journey.

It’s a real pleasure and a privilege to welcome Jin Ho Verdonschot – I hope I’ve got that right – onto Mediator Academy. Jin Ho, welcome.

Jin Ho
Verdonschot: Thank you.

Aled: Jin Ho, a justice technology architect. What is a justice technology architect?

Jin Ho: It’s a good question and I catch that a lot. I think part of it is because I made up the term myself basically. But the position is meant to express the facts that there’s a lot of opportunities for modern information technology to update our justice processes and service delivery. We see that there’s very little communication going on between IT developers on the one hand, legal professionals on the other hand, and thirdly – maybe most importantly – the users of justice as well.

So what a justice technology architect aims to do is to interface between these three groups and make sure that the justice needs of the users are picked up correctly, by IT professionals and law professionals, and that they communicate with each other in order to produce innovative justice technology.

Aled: Okay. So, I understand the terminology around the user interface, but it sounds like it’s a bit more than developing a user interface, is that right?

Jin Ho: Yeah. Absolutely. The work that I do as a justice technology architect is very much starting from the justice needs, designing the process flow, integrating modern information technology. I always find it important to emphasise that it should go beyond simply PDF’ing existing stuff that we have, but really, fully use the potential that information technology offers. In the end still creating a very user-friendly interface for these IT-based processes, or maybe even a very user-friendly interface for the justice system is also a key element still.

Aled: All right, and you’ve developed your own platform, right?

Jin Ho: Yes. It’s called the Rechtwijzer 2.0 platform and you can call it an end to end district resolution platform which specifically focuses on supporting and empowering people who experienced relational disputes. So it could be a divorce issue, landlord/tenant issue, employment issue, I call them relational disputes to distinguish them from transactional disputes. For the small claims, low value, high-volume type of institutes generally involving a less emotional dimension to them. It’s also typically less interest based, or need for interest based dispute resolution probably.

This Rechtwijzer 2.0 platform, we developed this at HiiL, and for us the development started us, basically, on a journey that was led by a colleague of mine, Corry van Zeeland, who started developing the Rechtwijzer 1.0 platform as of 2006 together with our main partner, the Dutch Legal Aid Board. What this Rechtwijzer 1.0 platform does is it provided an interactive web-based platform to people where people could diagnose their legal problems. So they could understand what exactly the nature of the problem that they experienced was, from a more legal perspective and also would provide triage.

It would provide people the different options that they would have to take action towards resolution. This could be referring them to mediators. Also explaining what the pros and cons of mediation were, what they could expect from the mediation process, or lawyers or notary public, that type of triage. That was part of it.

What we also did in the Rechtwijzer 1.0 platform was, we had some diagnostic tests that measured the level of self-efficacy of people, so that we could give them a recommendation based on that. Whether taking action themselves would seem an appropriate action for them, or whether it would be a good idea for them to hire a professional from the very beginning.

Lastly, it also provided some self-help tools like template letters that they could use to send to the other party, or document checklists that they could use to prepare themselves, or communication tips and tricks that they could use to communicate with the other party. That’s where it started.

We launched that in 2006, and we saw several things happen at a certain stage. We saw that a couple of years ago that the Rechtwijzer 1.0 platform was catching some international attention. Some scholars, justice experts mentioned the Rechtwijzer platform as the state of the art in new information provision. It was very nice to hear, very encouraging as well, very rewarding, especially for the team under the guidance of Corry van Zeeland, who developed it.

Next to that, we also saw the emergence of ODR, online dispute resolution and we saw also more broadly the expansion of digitised legal services provision, living in a world where the majority spends more time on the internet than watching television by now. People are increasingly used to using services by professionals, online.

We see the emergence of some major companies, especially in the U.S., making good profits, make the case that this actually meets the needs of users. So, based on the good reviews that we got, the emergence of ODR, and also the trend of digitisation, we took the next step.

Maybe some call it a bold next step, but basically this was the next step toward the Rechtwijzer 2.0 platform that we started slightly over a year ago. We developed it and I think it’s about a month now that we’ve accepted the first cases in a more experimental phase.

Aled: So, Rechtwijzer 1.0 what sort of relational disputes were people using it for predominately?

Jin Ho: We provided information for people who wanted to divorce, we provided information for people who experienced a labor relation problem, for consumer issues, for small administrative issues, typically involving permits and things like that, and also for landlord/tenant issues.

Aled: And internationally or specific to an area?

Jin Ho: No. I think the Rechtwijzer 1.0 platform has always been focused on the Netherlands. I think during the past year following the development of the Rechtwijzer 2.0 platform and the exposure that Rechtwijzer got, we see an increasing willingness to adopt the Rechtwijzer 1.0 – 2.0 type of technology and processes.

Also, internationally, it’s recently that we started to co-operate with the Legal Services Society in British Columbia, Canada. Together with them, we are now working on the Rechtwijzer 2.0 implementation that they have named “MyLawBC”, and this will provide the diagnose triage elements for foreclosure issues, for life planning, wills and estates and also for divorce and separation. It will also have many of the elements of the Rechtwijzer 2.0 platform for divorce and separation as well.

Aled: Okay. So, the principal difference between the earlier platform and this new platform, the earlier one sounded more like it would almost coach me through a particular dilemma or a trouble that I was having through that triage service, and giving me information and options as I went through it. But the 2.0, does it enable people to engage with each other, through the platform to resolve issues, is that the difference?

Jin Ho: Absolutely. You’ve expounded that well. What the Rechtwijzer 1.0 platform did, it provided you an endpoint, typically a telephone number and a physical address in the real world with a front door and a doorbell that you could ring, basically refer you to that address for the next help.

We decided that given these strengths that I just described, rather than throwing people off the platform, we thought that we could organise similar support on the same platform. So, we’re not sending people out in the real world, but we’re keeping them on the application.

We have created a very problem-solving interface that supports people in several different ways, to have effective dialogue and negotiation. If they get stuck or they feel that it doesn’t work anymore, we organise mediation, interventions on the platform. We organise adjudication interventions on the platform.

We have a lot of self-help tools and applications on the platform as well. We also work a lot with model solutions that people in the Netherlands with divorce issues typically opt for in a separation agreement, to provide some building blocks for effective agreements in the separation plan.

So, basically it’s very popularly stated – you could call us a “one stop shop.” That’s not doing it justice, but it’s reflecting appropriately, that we’re not sending people away, but we’re pulling all types of help that they might need, to the place where they already are. Following communication channels that they already are used to, while using Facebook, Tweeting, booking their flights, or buying a new television online.

We also allow them, on the platform, to communicate in their own words, describe the problem in their own words, build solutions from their own interests. Rather than creating this code, this legal code, that only the experts understand, on top of that we put a user-friendly interface using plain language that everyone understands. So people feel empowered to work on their own dispute that they know, as no one else knows it.

Aled: You talked about a mediated feature. Are these human interventions or are they algorithmic interventions?

Jin Ho: They are human interventions. Let me briefly tell you what the different phases of the Rechtwijzer application are. What the Rechtwijzer 2.0 does is it focuses on separation and therefore divorce firstly. We still provide a similar diagnosis element as we had on Rechtwijzer 1.0.

If people decide that they want to get a divorce and they want to use Rechtwijzer for that, we help them through a very problem-solving, interest-based intake, which lets them reflect on the different interests that are involved on their end, but also from the partners end and from the children’s end. We let them reflect on their initial ideas for solutions and agreements that they would like to make. This way, we provide them the type of structure that keeps them away from a rights-based attitude.

After this intake has been completed by both of them, they end up in what we call “the dialogue phase,” this is really an interface where they can work together, talk together, build agreements together with the self-help tools, with the model solutions, with the strong focus on their interests. If they get stuck, and we imagine that many of the people will get stuck for, at least, some of the issues they can call in the mediation assistants.

With a click of the button, we provide unbundled mediation services if they want. It’s really mediators who will focus on specific issues. The specific issues that parties indicate that they want their support for, they will work for a fixed fee. So, people have to pay for the mediation intervention, but they won’t pay E150 for an hour. No, they will pay a sum of money that will give them the mediation that they need as long as it’s fruitful. In this way we feel that many more people will be able to settle many more issues, but maybe not all still.

So, we have a similar intervention which we call “Adjudication” and it’s basically family law experts who acts as a neutral and takes a neutral decision, which is experienced as very binding for the parties. Again, this is a fixed fee. People will pay for this when they call upon it, so it’s also pay-as-you-go as a model. It’s also unbundled again, so they will provide decisions only for the issues that parties ask for decisions for.

We feel that with the dialogue interface and with the mediation intervention and the adjudication intervention, many people will be able to come to a fully-fledged separation plan. We also see that in disputes like these, there might be power differences, or people might be misinformed. There might be any other form of information asymmetry.

So, what we have decided as a compulsory step is that once there is a full separation plan, a neutral reviewer, a family law expert again, will review the whole separation plan and assess whether there is no outcomes that seem the result of power imbalances or coercion, or people making emotional decisions.

So they will look for equity, legitimacy, the balance overall, to provide this extra check and to protect people from mistakes that they may not want to make in the end. So, that’s an extra equality assurance towards our users.

I strongly feel that the Rechtwijzer 2.0 platform, it’s not an automated algorithm-based super machine. It’s an application that empowers people, and 50% of the empowerment probably comes from technology, and 50% of the empowerment probably comes from the service providers who we work with.

In that way, we’re also not seeing ourselves as threatening the legal profession. Essentially what we do is we create a new channel for service delivery for these same legal professionals.

Aled: You’ve really thought about this, haven’t you?

Jin Ho: I’ve been thinking about this for almost one and a half years now.

Aled: Wow. It sounds an amazing resource, it really does.

Jin Ho: I think we’ve received several very positive responses to it. We generally feel very confident that this will work. The reason for this might be that from day one when we started designing this application, we have involved mediators, lawyers, judges, and also end-users. So, they have been at the table from day one. They have been very much part of the design process.

Before we launched the first beta version, we already had 10 rounds of user testing and integration processing of the results. As I told you, we have now very softly launched the platforms. We are accepting cases in a controlled manner.

For me, this really feels like the stage where we finally are able to really find out how we can tweak the application in such a way that it really works for its users. So, the continuous user testing – and by “users” I mean parties filing for divorce, but also the mediators and the adjudicators and the reviewers. Through this continuous user testing, we will gradually learn how to optimise the Rechtwijzer 2.0 platform.

The model that we’ve chosen is we’ve been looking to the successful interactive web-based platforms. I know you talked about Twitter, Facebook, Google. There’s one thing very essential to what they do. They don’t launch a website and say, “It’s done. They continuously update and upgrade it. So, core to the Rechtwijzer 2.0 platform is that every three months, we come with a substantial update where we process everything we’ve learned thus far from our users or from tech developments that we see happening in the world, to keep it constantly up to date.

In that way, I see this type of justice innovation that we do is not as much about typical IT projects that I always compare with a game of bowling, where you have this really heavy bowl, you throw it on a long trajectory, it’s very heavy and it’s slowly moving, and you only find out in the end whether you hit a strike or whether you hit the gutter. But I think this type of innovation should be much more similar to a game of ping-pong, or riff-raff, or table tennis, where you very quickly hit a light ball back and forth with the user, learn from them, proof, very iterative. I think that’s essential to justice innovation, and I think that’s a key feature of the Rechtwijzer 2.0 platform.

Aled: Okay. So, the soft launch, where are your users coming from? Are they being diverted to your website? Are they searching on line? How do they engage with you? How do you get them into your . . . ?

Jin Ho: I think this part of bringing in the users of the platform has been very much work done by the Dutch Legal Aid Board, our key partner. They have the channels that they use to bring in the first users, and among them are the legal-services counters that we have in the Netherlands. These are basically government funded, legal information offices that are represent in many of the big cities in the city centres. So, they refer people to the Rechtwijzer 2.0 platform. Next to that and I think more importantly, we still have the Rechtwijzer 1.0 platform online. At this stage we have something like 20,000 unique visitors per month.

Aled: That’s incredible isn’t it? Twenty thousand uniques a month.

Jin Ho: Yes. So, it’s covering the five issues. It’s quite a lot I think. There’s a university doing independent customer-satisfaction research now among its users. It’s a longitudinal study but the first results are in. I was very happy to hear that we almost got an 8 as a satisfaction rate – an 8 out of 10 – which I was led to believe that’s pretty high for a website.

There are a lot of users. The availability of Rechtwijzer 2.0 application is mentioned there. We have a customer contact centre that they can call with a request to provide them the link to start using the Rechtwijzer 2.0 application.

Aled: All right. I suppose if you were to make it available, you could have 20,000 users in a month, which would be fantastic.

Jin Ho: It would be fantastic because then we could really learn from a large number of people how we can improve it. We could also help more people access better justice and feel more empowered probably, empowering them to take the responsibility that they can handle. So that would be really exciting.

I think at this stage, we see the current phase that we’re in as the more experimental phase, where we acknowledge that this is the first design that we put into practice. We feel that we want to put it into practice in a more controlled manner until we have experience of dozens of cases and we feel confident enough to bring in the big groups, because this system has proven itself sufficiently. It’s quite a thing, of course.

We don’t want to use people as guinea pigs during their divorce, obviously. So, that’s also the reason why we have created a special cockpit, so when these first users get very extensive support right now, we will do everything that’s needed to give them a good divorce.

Honestly, my mobile number is connected to the telephone number of the hotline published on the application and I can be called day or night by the users if they need something. Of course, we also have a real help-desk centre, but in the evening hours, we feel it’s important to also provide support. So, this is the way we do it.

Once we feel that, from the real data, that this is stable, we have Search Engine Optimization ready so we can reach out to the larger volume of people.

Aled: The iterative process and the way you learn and develop this platform based on the user experience, it’s something that I think the traditional experience of mediation – one of the things that I don’t think we’re good at as a profession or a field. We’re not a profession, we’re a group of disparate people wanting to help. I think we’ve made some big assumptions about what’s good for people with mediation without really seeing what works for them.

We make assumptions about – if I think about the facilitative mediation model that I was trained in – we make assumptions about keeping people together, separating them, who should talk first. I’m not quite sure how much we’re interested in learning about how we can improve the mediation process. That’s what I’m really interested in, how you learn. Is it through feedback from users? Do you have a way of watching how people interact with your interface? How do you learn continuously?

Jin Ho: There are several ways, I think. One of them is to simply analyse the usage data, so working with a tech-based application allows us to automatically collect a lot of data, how long do people spend in dialogue phase. After how many weeks or months do they request mediation? What are the chances of success if people agree to 50% of the issues themselves? You name it. So, that’s one way where we can learn. Of course, we have to be very careful not to violate any privacy regulation there. We build it in such a way where we can use some data without doing that.

Another thing is we send web-based surveys to the users, where they transition to the next phase from the intake, to the dialogue, to the mediation, etc. so we can really learn per phase what their experiences are, collecting some quantitative data as well.

But we also organise focus groups with real users. We typically put six of our users together in a room, and we let them reflect on the challenges that they’ve experienced. Maybe they have some ideas of how we can improve it. We do the same thing with mediators and the other service providers as well. It’s some kind of triangulation of data collection from several different sources where we see we can learn from.

Aled: I think one of the challenges with mediation now, as you’re talking, is because of the feature of confidentiality in mediation, it’s hard for us as a field to capture that data. That’s a real tension and a real dilemma that we’ve got.

Jin Ho: Absolutely. I see that. What we have done on the Rechtwijzer 2.0 application is, to put it simply, we’ve merged several different processes into one another. So, we started looking at the actual behaviour of people when they experience a dispute, and we see that across disputes, across jurisdictions, this is pretty similar. We notice, because of the Paths to Justice type of research that has championed by some of your fellow Brits, like Hazel Genn, Pascoe Pleasence, people like them who did a lot of quantitative studies as to how people will actually behave when they have a legal problem.

We know that, I would say, safely, all over the world, people will generally first look for information about whether the problem they have actually is a problem that they can take action on. They will typically start talking with neighbours, friends, relatives, browsing the internet and gathering a lot of information.

If they have information and they feel, yes, this is a legal problem, they will typically contact the other person and try to have a conversation about this, a dialogue. If this does not work, they will escalate towards calling on the assistance of a third party, maybe. Only 5%-10% of these people end up in court eventually.

So, this gradual escalation, these different phases are basically the phases that we have in the Rechtwijzer from the dialogue, to the mediation, to the adjudication. We’ve merged them into one process, because for users, it is all about their problem, and they don’t think in terms of these fixed processes that people like you and I think about. Thinking about all the different rules, the different processes and how important that is, they don’t see it like that. They just see their problem and they shop a bit around, finding ways that are effective.

Mediation, I think, is a beautiful product and still, it never really got the market share that the quality and the beauty of the product implies it would get. One of the reasons for that is what we call “the submission problem.” I think your fellow Brit, Dame Hazel Genn, said once, “Mediation is the sound of one hand clapping,” expressing that what mediation requires is that when people already are in a dispute, you want them to agree to choose mediation to choose the specific mediator. In that context it’s very difficult to agree upon such an issue. If you’re in a dialogue or a negotiation with each other and you find out it doesn’t work, it’s difficult to agree that you’ll go to a mediator. Not everyone can do that.

So, what we did with the Rechtwijzer is really, from the very beginning, took away the blocking power of one party. So, if people opt-in on Rechtwijzer from the very beginning, they express that they will co-operate with mediation, with the adjudication if that would be needed later on in the process. But at the very beginning, we want them to opt in to these options. So, what this does is we take away the power of either one of the parties to block it, to say, “No, we’re not going to mediation now at this stage, where we cannot have a decent dialogue, or effective dialogue together anymore.”

So, that’s one attempt that we do to solve this submission problem. We do that by merging these processes into one process that’s very gradual. You will encounter, indeed, the considerations of privacy in mediation processes. But that’s innovation, trying these new things to see if these work better for the users in the end.

Aled: Where do you see this going? What’s the potential for Rechtwijzer in the future? What are your hopes, aspirations and plans for it?

Jin Ho: I have dreams. I see that because the application is designed following the behaviour of people and not following legal rules, building from the assumption that the behaviour of people is universally stable, more or less, the application is scalable.

We have designed it now, for divorce in the Netherlands, we are preparing a Rechtwijzer 2.0 platform for landlord/tenant issues in the Netherlands. We see that it’s the same phasing that happens in these disputes as happens in divorce. Of course, the issues are different. The information that you have to provide is different. But the general flow of the process is the same. So, we can use the technology, we can adapt the content. Then, basically we reach quite some economies of scale by scaling it up to a next issue.

I mentioned that we also scale up internationally, because we see the behaviour and the needs of people who want to get a divorce in British Columbia are very similar to the needs and behaviour of people who want to get a divorce in the Netherlands. So, again, we can re-use the technology and the general process flow.

We will add different content, because that’s where the legal specificities are reflected, in the text. But text is typically something that you can change rather easily in an application. In this way, we can implement the Rechtwijzer also in British Columbia. I think we can do it in England, I think we can do it in Singapore, Finland, and many other countries probably. So, that’s where I think this application can go.

Now. There’s another side to this because what this does is this allows organisations or government agencies working for Access to Justice to really co-operate on an international scale. We always have thought that the national laws, the differences there, prevented real co-operation. But I think with applications like these, we can work towards international standards for procedures. The procedure now might not be as much about a book with rules of civil procedure, but maybe it’s more something of an application. That’s basically what the procedure can be with applications like these.

So, there’s huge economies of scale, there’s huge opportunities to develop the best practices, or evidence-based elements for the application. I also see that what we do with the Rechtwijzer 2.0 platform is if there is an implementation of the platform abroad, we will always continue to user-test it, and we might learn lessons in British Columbia that will result in improvements and new features that will also work for the Netherlands. So, it’s really possible to combine forces, not only when it comes to providing an effective dispute resolution platform, but also to maintain it and to continuously improve it.

Aled: So, when I asked you what your plans were for the future and you said, you’ve got dreams, I get a sense of the potential that certainly you see in Rechtwijzer, not just from a scalable perspective, but just making it easy for people to, as you said, get access to some justice, breaking down the barriers for people to be able access that.

It triggered a thought actually. I read in your profile around something you said about some research. Micro-justice research and innovation programme. Could you say a little bit more about that, because I got the impression that that had something to do with making it easy for people of all walks of life to access justice?

Jin Ho: Sure. I used to work at a university, and there I co-developed this micro-justice research innovation programme. Basically, what they did was to focus on access to justice solutions, financially sustainable access to justice solutions, for people living in developing countries. That’s of course, if you want to find an access to justice challenge, you have to go to Kenya where there’s a population of 40 million people and only 5,000 lawyers in the entire country, and they all are concentrated in the business district in Nairobi. That’s a challenging environment. It might be even more challenging than the environment in London or in The Hague.

So, we also worked on applications there. That’s basically – I think it must be seven or eight years ago where I started seeing the potential of integrating IT in justice processes to increase access to justice. So, I’ve worked on a thing called “MSheria”, “M” stands for “mobile”, “sheria” is Swahili for law. I worked on Msheria in Kenya, I still do. It’s basically an SMS-based version of the Rechtwijzer 2.0 platform, that’s how you could call it.

So, it’s really back to the basics if you work in an environment like that. But I see going back to the basics also is going back to the essentials. Going back to the essentials really enables you to learn a lot about the foundations that applications like Rechtwijzer 2.0 should have. So, that’s, I think, how this prior experience with the micro-justice programme really also feeds in the current Rechtwijzer 2.0 activities.

Aled: Yeah. Where does your passion and interest for this come from?

Jin Ho: I see so many potential. When you look back, I sometimes make the comparison looking back, way, way back. So, throughout the recorded history of law, I see that the justice providers always used state of the art technology. I don’t know whether you heard of the Codex Hammurabi, which is the first written law that we know. It was chiseled in a piece of rock and that was how information was captured by that.

If you look at the Romans, they used perkamentus [sic] an ink that was state of the art information technology by then. We’ve got Napoleon in our Civil Law countries, and he used the art of printing books. That was the state of the art technology then. What it did was enabling dissemination of legal information on a much larger scale. That was not simply using different means, that was really innovating what they were doing.

When I look, what we’re doing right now is putting information in books and CD-ROMS’s and on simple static websites. And I’m wondering, “Are we still using, to the full potential, the state of the art information technology that we have available right now? I don’t think so.

I think we should really reconsider, redesign, adjust these processes in information provision and dispute resolution support, and really look at what people already are doing with it and see how we can integrate that in our justice processes.

I see that’s a huge opportunity. It’s not only for users, but I also see the opportunity for lawyers to finally get rid of all the administrative stuff that they have to do and what they never went to law school for. No one wants to do boring intakes, collecting factual stuff, you want to go to the real lawyering, the real nitty-gritty of the law because that’s what you were educated for, that’s what you are passionate about. You don’t want to do that administrative stuff.

So I see that these types of applications allow automation of these administrative things and help lawyers get back to their lawyering again, to focus on that. We create efficiencies on the way. The lawyers, the mediators can benefit from that, and the users can benefit from that as well. So I think there’s huge potential for that.

If I see that potential, I see that there’s not as much development for using it as you would wish for and that’s where my passion comes in and I see if no one is doing that, than I should do it probably. We should do it here.

Aled: Boy oh boy, and you are doing it. It’s fantastic, really, really wonderful.

Jin Ho: We are taking bold first steps and we are confident. I’m not sure whether we are yet there, but I’m pretty confident that we can get there if we show some stamina and keep on working on it.

Aled: I think this process of continuously learning and making data-driven decisions about how you optimise your platform, to make the process of engaging with it really, really easy. When you talk about the Twitters and the Facebooks, they just make it so easy to engage with their system.

Jin Ho: I think it’s using the channels and the technologies that people are used to already. So, the lawyers might be less tech-savvy than many of the users, but everyone can learn it and there are new generations coming.

Aled: Jin Ho, this has been really inspiring. I’ve been really inspired by you today. I’m just excited. It’s fantastic.

Jin Ho: That’s very kind of you to say, thank you.

Aled: Well, I really admire people that have a vision, a dream a passion, and they are pursuing it with urgency. I get the impression that this isn’t moving quick enough for you. But I also admire people that take bold steps, be innovative, wanting to push the envelope and aren’t satisfied with just the average or, “It works. It’s not broken, why do we need …?” I think it’s wonderful, what you’re doing and I really appreciate you giving your time for the interview today.

If people want to find out a bit more about the Rechtwijzer 2.0 and you, how can they reach out to you? What is the best place to go looking online?

Jin Ho: I think our website, HiiL.org might be a good starting point. We have a section on justice technology with a good description of the Rechtwijzer 2.0 platform as well. People could find my email address there or they could look me up on Twitter. It’s JINHOV or simply Google my name or Rechtwijzer and they will find it.

Aled: Okay. We’ll put all the links underneath the interview. Well, look, I want to say a big thank you, Jin Ho. thank you so much, and I’m going to be keeping a keen eye on Rechtwijzer 2.0 and maybe 3.0.

Jin Ho: Thank you very much, Aled. It has been a great pleasure talking with you about one of the things that I love talking about, love doing. So, it has been my pleasure, thank you very much.

Aled: Thank you Jin Ho.

About the mediator

Jin Ho Verdonschot Profile Pic

Jin Ho combines expertise from dispute system design, access to justice, UX/UI design, and (online) dispute resolution. He helps courts and other justice sector organisations to update and innovate their procedures and justice processes. For the past 8 years, he has been utilising technology to build better user interfaces for the justice system. Jin Ho initiated, designed and implemented several IT based justice applications in both the ... View Mediator