This is an NHS developed complete guide to medical conditions, symptoms and treatments, including what to do and when to get help (NHS). This innovation has transformed the delivery of early support services through the central collation of early support for health problems (The Ministry of Justice 2019, p.21). This is could be applicable to the legal tech sector by providing legal ‘diagnosis’ early on in the process. The tool could act as a user’s first port of call and aid them in taking a self-help approach by identifying their legal issue. It could then sign-post where to look next and how to deal with their legal issue. Identifying and dealing with legal issues early on is key in minimising legal costs for the user. It is also important for the user to access the necessary support early on and this can be done through sign-posting next steps (Legal Support: The Way Ahead 2019, p.5).
The information on the legal version of Health A-Z could simply be a form of free legal encyclopaedia offering information and definitions of confusing legal terms or common issues faced by citizens.
If the legal resource was comprehensive and contained all relevant information on UK law it could contribute to the centralisation of legal information which would enhance access to justice. Further, by explaining the legal information in plain English it would allow the user to understand their legal issue and not just be fed legal information they cannot understand. In this way, the tool could draw on the comprehensiveness of BAILII and improve on its absence of explanation.
1. NHS, Health A to Z – NHs (online) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/
2. The Ministry of Justice, ‘Legal Support: The Way Ahead. An Action Plan to delivery better support to people experiencing legal problems’ (February 2019) https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/777036/legal-support-the-way-ahead.pdf