The First #Data4Justice Meetup

Here's a brief of what went down last Thursday

What is powering the Justice Hub - the open justice data platform? 

The diverse community of changemakers who are coming together to explore and act on data-driven opportunities for change. 

Last Thursday, an incredible group of economists, general counsels, legal researchers, and policy analysts, all working at the intersection of data, finance, and Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) got together. They shared exciting projects that they were working on; learnt from each other's complementary approaches and deliberated on urgent areas for further exploration.

Left to Right: (Saurabh Karn (Agami), Keerthana Medarametla (Agami), Deepika Kinhal (Vidhi Centre for Legal Research), Dakshina Chandra (NLSIU), Manaswini Rao (Economist), Srikara Prasad (Dvara), Tariq Musthafa (Omidyar Network India), Anubhav Mishra (Legal Minds),Bhargavi Zaveri (FRG), Amrit Amirapu (Economist), Supriya Sankaran (Agami), Avinash Kumar (ICICI Bank), Pramod Rao (ICICI Bank) and Apoorv (CivicDataLab)

The good thing about data-driven efforts in justice in India being in a nascent stage, is that there is so much exciting work for all of us to do. Here are the top 5 key ideas that emerged from the conversation: 

  1. Mortgage enforcement: Are mortgages an effective security in the event of defaults on secured loans? What does the data tell us? How can this inform how we might be able to expand cash flow lending? 

  2. Section 138A, Negotiable Instrument Act: Section 138A of the Negotiable Instruments Act criminalises cheque bouncing and is believed to comprise a significant part of the judicial caseload. How can data on such cases, including their outcomes, inform decriminalisation efforts and help in designing alternative, effective remedies?

  3. Banking Ombudsman: To resolve consumer complaints related to banking services, the Government of India had authorised the establishment of the Banking Ombudsman in 2006. How can data on cases resolved by the Ombudsman help us understand consumer satisfaction and understand demographic analysis of people accessing the Ombudsman?

  4. Online Dispute Resolution (ODR): Today, a growing number of companies and Lok Adalats are using ODR: i.e. negotiation, mediation, arbitration backed by technology to resolve disputes outside of courts. How can we collect data from early adopters of ODR to understand its effectiveness vis-à-vis courts in terms of speed, cost and outcomes? 

  5. Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs): A crucial challenge for MSMEs is the recovery of payments. To address this, the MSME Ministry launched an online portal, MSME Samadhaan to resolve disputes related to delayed payments. How can case level data help us study the success and pain points of these dispute resolution mechanisms for MSMEs? 

We hope to explore these areas more deeply in the coming weeks and initiate action.

Do let us know if any of these ideas interest you or if there other areas you would like to explore. Comment below and we would love to explore these ideas with you!

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