We are committed to harnessing technology to improve fairness in the criminal justice system. The internet has revolutionised our lives, including the way people seek legal advice. From funding platforms to information sites and dedicated apps, a host of new technologies mean that traditional law firms are no longer the gatekeepers of legal know-how. At Commons, we innovate to democratise access to information on the law, empowering people to better understand their rights. Technology can be an enabler of access to justice and aid fairer outcomes in the criminal justice system. Current projects include:
Coronavirus Fines & Crimes Web App
“A tool for people who have been issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice under the Coronavirus Regulations”
The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has bought with it a raft of constantly-changing rules and regulations, often difficult to navigate. Research and media reports indicate that the police have not been fair or consistent in the way that they have enforced the rules. We developed the Coronavirus Fines & Crimes Web App to help people navigate their way through the maze of regulations so that they can better understand their options if they are issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice by the police. At the same time, we are monitoring police behaviour so we can keep a check on excessive policing.
Youth Rights Web App
The police station can be a daunting place, particularly for a young person that has never been arrested before. They are normally under extreme stress while trying to understand complex information. At present, there is little to no provision made to ensure that children understand their rights and the process of being at the police station. Commons is working with partner organisations to develop an app that will help young people understand their rights if they are detained or required to attend the police station. The project has involved collaboration with Just for Kids Law and the Mayor of London’s Office for Policing And Crime.