Using recorded messages to improve Access to Justice

Addressing some key Access to Justice Principals in a unique way

Over the years we have worked with many different dispute resolution organisations and professionals on exploring different techniques and paths for resolving disputes more effectively while also seeking to increase access to justice at the same time.

One of the most interesting discoveries came from the use of recorded messages during cases. While we have had the record video message and record audio message tools in our platform for some time, we are continually surprised and pleased with the different use cases and applications our users are coming up with.

We have seen simple but extremely effective uses of our recorded message tools in addressing some of the Access to Justice principles, specifically around accessibility. In one set of cases that were being processed on our platform there were a number of participants who had issues with literacy and/or english not being their first language.

It was discovered that by providing these participants with the option to ingest communications and information in their own time and through natural language (via recorded video and/or audio messages) and providing them the option to respond in the same manner, fantastic results could be achieved in increasing access to justice for those participants.

It proved an incredibly effective and simple bridge for those participants that might otherwise struggle to read and comprehend a lot of written content and to get their thoughts and sentiment across effectively in the written form. These same participants however, felt very comfortable interacting in their own time through the asynchronous recorded message medium.

These same participants benefited greatly from not having to travel to a physical location to resolve their dispute and overall the platform and communication mediums used during their cases provided a highly satisfactory experience. The participants in these cases would have otherwise struggled to access an effective process for resolving their disputes.

How can you leverage these techniques in your cases?

Leveraging MODRON Spaces you can easily facilitate these asynchronous rich-media communications between participants in your cases. The tools are integrated into every Space you create for your cases and every participant has access to the tools.

Some of the other benefits that can be realised by leveraging this communication medium in your cases include:

Anytime access

Participants in a case can record a message and view a message at any time. This provides flexibility when navigating scheduling or timezone issues with the different participants. It also provides time and space for the participants to consider the messages received and their responses.

Less anxiety in distressing disputes

In particular disputes where participants may experience anxiety and distress from having to communicate in real-time with the other partie(s) the option to engage asynchronously via the recorded message medium can be very comforting and preferable. The affected particpant(s) can get advice and support from family and advisors during the process and can engage in thoughtful and considered asynchronous communications at a time that works best for them.

Exploring this concept further

We definitely recommend experimenting with recorded messages in your dispute resolution processes.

After creating a new case, you could consider recording a welcome video for the parties, welcoming everyone, explaining what to expect in the process, managing expectations etc.

There may also be benefit in having the parties provide their opening statements in a recorded message as opposed to the written form as you can have access to additional meta data such as tone, sentiment, body language etc.

Credit: Nathan Polito
link: Using recorded messages to improve Access to Justice