News Release

The GovLab launches free online course on "Open Justice"

Business Announcement

NYU Tandon School of Engineering

BROOKLYN, New York, Thursday, July 15, 2021 - Today, The GovLab in partnership with the Electoral Tribunal of the Federal Judiciary of Mexico (TEPJF), launched a first of its kind, online course on Open Justice through the edX MOOC (massive open online course) platform. Open Justice is a growing movement to leverage data and new technology to improve legal systems by making the workings of courts, prosecutors, prisons, and other legal organizations more transparent, efficient, fair and equitable.

"New availability of data creates tremendous opportunities to reduce corruption, decrease incarceration, increase speed and efficiency, and lay bare inequities," said Beth Simone Noveck, director of The GovLab. "By showcasing the work of legal innovators around the world, we hope to encourage more people to improve the workings of our legal institutions."

Designed for legal reformers, including lawyers, judges, and public officials but also technologists, activists, and entrepreneurs interested in innovations in law and justice - the Open Justice course is available in both English and Spanish. The course is designed to encourage more people to become open justice innovators and advocates, and offers the know-how needed to develop and design an open justice project or policy.

The course comprises 10 modules.

1. From Transparency to Open Data and Open Justice - what is open justice, what is the value proposition?
2. Open Justice Technologies and The Mindset of the Public Entrepreneur - open justice as the pathway to innovating public value
3. Open Justice for Efficiency - covering data driven projects designed to help courts increase throughput and efficiency
4. Open Justice for Equity - covering data driven projects designed to improve public policy outcomes
5. Open Justice for Legitimacy - covering projects designed to improve the selection and oversight of judges and other officials
6. Open Justice against Corruption - covering judicial transparency projects designed to reduce corruption
7. Open Justice Collaborations - covering participation, engagement and inter-agency collaboration projects
8. Open Justice Projects: Problem Definition - here we focus on advancing your own open justice project by helping you to define the problem you are solving specifically and concretely.
9. Open Justice Project: Risks - in this module, we address the risks with open justice projects and how to overcome them.
10. Open Justice Projects: Implementation - finally, we discuss strategies for taking your open justice project from idea to implementation.

Each module, which includes a video-based lecture, self-assessments, interview with a leading practitioner, and readings from an original Open Justice reader, is designed to offer practical and replicable lessons for how to apply innovation in practice to promote reform. For example, module 3 acknowledges that justice systems universally are overburdened, and examines how innovations can enhance efficiency in court operations while maintaining due process and fairness, and providing individualized, and equitable justice, while disposing of cases with timeliness. The module highlights 'Atviras Teismas' ('open court' in Lithuanian), a platform for monitoring courts and judges through performance metrics.

Among those featured in the interviews are Felipe Moreno of Jusbrasil, Justin Erlich of OpenJustice California, Liam Hayes of Aurecon, UK, Sara Castillo of Poder Judicial, Chile, and Steve Ghiassi of Legaler Aid, Australia.

"With over 5 billion people living outside of access to justice, it continues to be one of the greatest challenges we face as a society, and the pandemic has highlighted just how poorly equipped we really are to face it," said Steve Ghiassi, co-founder of Legaler, chairman of Legaler Aid and one of the many legal innovators interviewed for the course. "From legal clinics coming to a standstill or courts closing with a backlog of cases in the millions, the adoption of technology is no longer a 'nice-to-have' but a necessity."

Upon completion of the course, participants should be able to:

* Articulate the value-proposition for open justice; * Understand the different types of open justice projects; * Understand the basics of new open government strategies, including evidence-based decision-making, open innovation and crowdsourcing as they apply to courts; * Understand data science techniques and tools that can be applied to transform data to information and insights; * Explain real-life examples of open justice projects from around the world and how they were implemented; * Identify the benefits and risks of collecting, processing, using and sharing judicial data.

Initially developed in Spanish for employees of Mexico's highest electoral court, The GovLab and the Tribunal Electoral are pleased to make the Open Justice course free to all on edX.


About The Governance Lab at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering
The Governance Lab's mission is to improve people's lives by changing the way we govern. Our goal at The GovLab is to strengthen the ability of institutions -- including but not limited to governments -- and people to work more openly, collaboratively, effectively, and legitimately to make better decisions and solve public problems. We believe that increased availability and use of data, new ways to leverage the capacity, intelligence, and expertise of people in the problem-solving process, combined with new advances in technology and science, can transform governance. For more information, visit

About the New York University Tandon School of Engineering
The NYU Tandon School of Engineering dates to 1854, the founding date for both the New York University School of Civil Engineering and Architecture and the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute. A January 2014 merger created a comprehensive school of education and research in engineering and applied sciences as part of a global university, with close connections to engineering programs at NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai. NYU Tandon is rooted in a vibrant tradition of entrepreneurship, intellectual curiosity, and innovative solutions to humanity's most pressing global challenges. Research at Tandon focuses on vital intersections between communications/IT, cybersecurity, and data science/AI/robotics systems and tools and critical areas of society that they influence, including emerging media, health, sustainability, and urban living. We believe diversity is integral to excellence, and are creating a vibrant, inclusive, and equitable environment for all of our students, faculty and staff. For more information, visit

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