SAKULATOR - Innovation project on the development of a calculator for estimating case processing times in Norwegian courts

A majority of Norwegian courts violate the parliament’s goal of case processing time. A new digital tool being developed in the Sakulator innovation project will help judges estimate processing time.

In the Office of the Auditor General's investigation of case processing time and efficiency in the district courts and the courts of appeals, it is pointed out that a significant proportion of Norwegian courts do not reach the parliament’s goals for case processing times.

In order to meet the demands for increased efficiency, Norwegian courts are now undergoing a comprehensive digitization process that will initially include the Supreme Court, all six lower appeals courts and the largest district courts. As part of this work, the Court Administration is working with researchers from NORCE Social Sciences, the Department of comparative politics (UIB), and the Center on Experiential Legal Learning at the Faculty of Law (UIO) to develop a new management tool called Sakulator.

Sakulator will, in practice, be a web-based calculator or app that will assist judges in estimating the processing time when complex cases come up before the courts - something that is happening more and more frequently. For the courts, Sakulator will contribute to better overview and efficiency in an everyday life characterized by pressured resources and increased amount of complex cases.

A prediction model based on a machine learning algorithm will form the basis for the development of Sakulator, which will contribute to: Knowledge and innovation that strengthen legal certainty and the legitimacy of the courts; knowledge of the factors that influence the case processing time in the courts; to make it easier for the judges to have an active case management and thus free up time and resources in the courts; and to provide a better basis for resource allocation among the courts, which may help to reduce the differences in processing time across the courts.