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THE HUMBOLDT UNIVERSITY IN BERLIN TEAMS UP WITH RYTER TO IMPROVE ACCESS TO JUSTICE

The Humboldt Consumer Law Clinic partners with BRYTER to develop Legal Tech tools for consumers.

The new German class action (Musterfeststellungsklage) has shed new light on the inequalities when it comes to access to justice. Numerous research shows that many consumers fear the costs and risks of court proceedings and tend to refrain from enacting their rights.

This is why Prof. Dr. Reinhard Singer and Prof. Dr. Susanne Augenhofer founded the Humboldt Consumer Law Clinic (HCLC) to strengthen consumer protection in 2012. At the HCLC, consumers receive free legal advice from students supervised by qualified lawyers. Over the years the numbers of cases brought to the HCLC has increased significantly. Today the pro bono project, despite the high level of commitment of students, professors, staff and practitioners has reached its capacity limits.

‘In many cases, we now have to refuse to counsel on certain cases. This is regrettable, of course,’ says Prof. Dr. Singer, ‘but for some consumers, even disputes with lower values are of considerable economic significance. We must therefore pay full attention to each case. This is only possible as long as we keep the number of mandates in a certain relationship to the advisors.’

The HCLC wants to tackle the capacity issue with an innovative project starting in winter semester 2018/2019. This project aims at enabling students to serve not just one but dozens or even hundreds of clients at the same time. This is only possible through automating legal service delivery with software tools. ‘Together with the students, we want to develop Legal Tech applications that are specifically tailored to typical questions of consumer law,’ explains Dennis Fordan, research assistant at the Humboldt University.

As most law students won’t find the time to learn programming alongside their demanding studies, the Faculty of Law cooperates with the Berlin-based company BRYTER.

‘BRYTER is a no-code platform that enables its users to model and automate complex decision processes and workflows without any programming knowledge,’ explains Michael Grupp, co-founder and CEO at BRYTER.

‘As part of our project BRYTER Impact, we want to facilitate access to justice. We therefore make our software available to universities and NGOs; only condition being: the developed applications have to be accessible for the public for free. We are very much looking forward to working with the Humboldt Consumer Law Clinic at the HU Berlin. Together with students, we want to improve effective consumer protection’, adds Dr. Micha Bues, co-founder and Managing Director at BRYTER.

The Legal Tech teams of the Humboldt Consumer Law Clinic will kick off their work in October 2018.

For more information, see:
https://www.rewi.hu-berlin.de/de/lf/oe/hclc/index.html

Prof. Dr. Reinhard Singer
Chair of Civil Law, Labour Law, Law of Attorneys, Family Law and Sociology of Law
Humboldt-University Berlin
D-10099 Berlin
reinhard.singer@rewi.hu-berlin.de

Dennis Christian Fordan
Research Assistant
Chair Prof. Dr. Augenhofer, LL.M. (Yale) for Civil Law, European Private Law, Comparative Law and Market Regulation through Consumer and Competition Law
Humboldt-University Berlin
D-10099 Berlin
Tel.: 030 2093-3455
dennis.fordan@rewi.hu-berlin.de

Dr. Micha-Manuel Bues, M.Jur. (Oxford)
Managing Director at BRYTER GmbH
Fehrbelliner Str. 12
D-10119 Berlin
bues@bryter.localhost