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E-access to Justice and the Digital Divide: A Framework for Analysis

Antwi Boasiako Frimpong, master’s student, Faculty of Law, University of Victoria

Published April 19, 2018 by Technologies of Justice.

Antwi Boasiako Frimpong hosted a panel on data mining and justice outcomes, explaining the digital divide and frameworks for analysis in e-access to justice. The panel took place January 26, 2018 at the Technologies of Justice Conference, at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.



Frimpong discussed the feasibility of using technology for access to justice, with only 26 per cent of people seeking legal advice using the Internet, and a greater percentage of people asking their family or personal lawyers. He showed how even with the abundance of resources and connectivity, our e-access to justice resources remain mostly unused.

He brought to light how the perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, technology literacy, communications literacy and legal literacy affects the actual usefulness of the services provided. He illustrated how even with a desire to use the technology, a reason to use the technology, literacy of the available technology, and having the available resources, people may not use the service, and how with any other combination of literacy and availability of the services, even with a desire, people are unlikely to use the services or cannot use or benefit from the new justice for technology services.

Frimpong highlighted the need for more evidence-based research to understand the difference between the supply for the new justice technologies and the use of the new justice technologies, as well as the need for more interdisciplinary studies, to understand how people use and appropriate these technologies, so we can utilize them more accurately. We need more proactive policies or actions to understand and address the digital divide before we can improve the usefulness of digital access to justice.