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30 January 2024

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Professor Horst Eidenmüller, Freshfields Chair in Commercial Law, publishes new research article

Together with Dr Kathrin Eidenmüller (Judge, Munich Court of Appeals), who was an Associate Member of St Hugh’s SCR between 2021 and 2022, and Conor McLaughlin (Barrister, Erskine Chambers, London), Professor Horst Eidenmüller, Freshfields Chair in Commercial Law, has completed a project on “Expanding the Shadow of the Law: Designing Efficient Judicial Dispute Resolution Systems in a Digital World — An Empirical Investigation”.

The research article presents and discusses the results of an empirical study on the design of efficient judicial dispute resolution systems for business-to-business (B2B) commercial disputes in a digital world. The empirical study is based on the findings from 24 structured interviews with senior legal practitioners and business leaders and an online survey that generated 275 responses from professionals worldwide.

The authors argue that courts are, and will continue to be, a cornerstone of the civil justice architecture, including in B2B disputes. States must not ‘outsource’ the provision of dispute resolution services to private providers but should improve the efficiency of judicial processes. Providing user-friendly and reliable digital and AI tools for information management and analysis, communication and decision-making is key, as are clear protocols for online hearings. But the authors find that disputing parties do not want to be judged by machines. Rather, they request competent and specialised human decision-makers, and efficient planning and case management.


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