Understanding e-Justice and Open Justice Through the Assessment of Judicial Websites

The pressure to adopt information technologies has clearly reached the judicial branch of government. General trends toward greater transparency and more openness in the public sector have pushed judges, ministers, and lawyers to use emergent technologies and to provide more information online. In fact, judicial agencies have created their own websites with diverse levels of technological sophistication and functionality, often with the intention of opening their processes and interacting with multiple stakeholders. In contrast to the executive branch, however, little is known about the structure, usability, content, and impacts of these websites. There is also no clear understanding of how judicial websites could be used to better understand and assess electronic justice and open justice efforts. Using a longitudinal mixed-method research design, this study analyzes the functionality of judicial websites and proposes a comprehensive assessment framework that not only evaluates the availability of information but also the participatory mechanisms related to e-justice and open justice. We started with an exploratory research project, followed by a pilot evaluation, and ended with an assessment of the 32 state judicial websites in Mexico in 2014 and 2016. Based on the results of these empirical efforts, this article proposes a framework to understand e-justice and open justice through the assessment of judicial websites.

Sandoval-Almazan, R., & Gil-Garcia, J. R. (2018). Understanding e-Justice and Open Justice Through the Assessment of Judicial Websites: Toward a Conceptual Framework. Social Science Computer Review, 0894439318785957.