Digital disruption will have profound effects on law. It will affect the overall way business operates, influencing the way that lawyers interact with clients, and pressing lawyers to adopt emerging business solutions themselves. In addition, it will add a new range of solutions tailored for legal problems, with the potential to help lawyers be more efficient, but also to supplant them through technology-aided paraprofessionals or software alone. As Big Data and artificial intelligence become commonplace, along with embedded controls on behaviour implemented by software, law will face pressure to become more digital friendly, while guarding against potential abuses inherent in vast collections of data and hidden algorithms. Legal education will also face pressure. At one level, it will need to transform how students are educated in order to take full advantage of digital tools. At another level, it will need to broaden the educational mission beyond just lawyers, as technology empowers non-professionals to address legal issues.
Ray Worthy Campbell and Fu Yulin
China’s judicial system has undergone rapid development in recent decades. Both Chinese culture and the governance of China have made the process much more complex than the simple copying of Western models. Today’s system includes an increasingly well-trained and professional judiciary applying modern procedural and substantive codes. Those codes are applied, however, in the context of cultural characteristics such as face and guanxi, and subject to the supervision of the Communist Party of China, a supervision meaningful only in certain kinds of cases. Going forward, more change is certain, as China balances the needs of development and tradition.