Osgoode students participating in “Hackathon” designed to improve access to justice

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TORONTO, February 1, 2017 – Students, legal professionals, computer programmers, computer scientists, software developers, members of the public and professionals of various disciplines will come together Feb. 3 and 4 for a two-day “hackathon” designed to create technology applications that will improve access to justice.

HackJustice, which is organized by the Winkler Institute for Dispute Resolution at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School and the Cyberjustice Laboratory at Université de Montréal – will run simultaneously at MaRS Discovery District in Toronto and the Cyberjustice Laboratory in Montréal.

Over the course of the two days, participants will compete for prizes as they work in teams to create and code either a mobile phone or software app, a website, or other technological solution that will make justice more accessible. Each team will then present their tech solution to a panel of judges who will choose the hackathon winners based on the originality and usefulness of the tech developed.

“HackJustice is a great competition for anyone who is interested in technology and improving access to justice,” said Nicole Aylwin, Assistant Director of the Winkler Institute. “The challenges that the teams will be taking on reflect a desire to help build public engagement and participation in the justice system and policy-making.”

Aylwin said HackJustice, which is free and now fully registered, will have participants channeling their passion and energy into developing human-centered technology for the following challenges:

· Engage. Make it easier for ‘regular’ people to engage in the policy-making decisions taking place at the municipal level.

· Resolve. Help improve consumer justice by addressing the roadblocks that keep consumers from seeking and getting justice.

· Learn. Help the public develop the confidence and capabilities they need to deal with everyday legal problems.

The event will welcome experts and leaders in the field including Renu Kulendran, Assistant Deputy Minister, Consumer Services Operations Division, Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, representatives from the Canadian Bar Association, Civic Tech Toronto and the Consumers Council of Canada.

For more information about HackJustice, please visit the website.
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York University is known for championing new ways of thinking that drive teaching and research excellence. Our students receive the education they need to create big ideas that make an impact on the world. Meaningful and sometimes unexpected careers result from cross-discipline programming, innovative course design and diverse experiential learning opportunities. York students and graduates push limits, achieve goals and find solutions to the world’s most pressing social challenges, empowered by a strong community that opens minds. York U is an internationally recognized research university – our 11 faculties and 26 research centres have partnerships with 200+ leading universities worldwide. Located in Toronto, York is the third largest university in Canada, with a strong community of 53,000 students, 7,000 faculty and administrative staff, and more than 295,000 alumni. York U’s fully bilingual Glendon campus is home to Southern Ontario’s Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education.

Media Contact: Virginia Corner, Communications Manager, Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, 416-736-5820, vcorner@osgoode.yorku.ca