Artificial Intelligence to Improve Justice System in Europe

Photo: Council of Europe European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ)
Photo: Council of Europe European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ)

The application of AI and technology expert systems is particularly needed in those countries where judges are corrupt and the authoritarian regimes subvert the judicial systems to achieve their political objectives.

The Conference of European Ministers of Justice on “Digital Technology and Artificial Intelligence – New Challenges for Justice in Europe” was scheduled to take place on 5 October within the framework of the Hungarian Presidency of the Council of Europe. 

The two experts in charge of giving the introductory speeches to the interventions of the Ministers of Justice or their representatives are Mr. Gregor Strojin (Slovenia), Advisor to the President of the Supreme Court (Slovenia) and Mr. Xavier Ronsin (France), President of the Court of Appeal of Rennes.

They are, among others, respectively members of the CEPEJ-GT-CYBERJUST (CEPEJ Working group on cyberjustice and artificial intelligence) and the CEPEJ-SATURN (CEPEJ Working group on judicial timeframes). They are speaking on the use of electronic devices and artificial intelligence (AI) in judicial proceedings in compliance with the European Convention on Human Rights.

The ministerial conference is based on the various works of the Organisation on justice, the information society, algorithms and artificial intelligence, in particular on the results of the works of the Council of Europe European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ).

Use of Artificial Intelligence in Judicial Systems

In order to remove human subjectivity and corruption from the judicial systems, computer scientists are increasingly using advanced information technology (IT) tools in the legal ecosystem.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its use with Machine Learning (ML) are among the contemporary technologies that have proved their utility in the emerging justice system.

The application of AI has already produced robot lawyers and chatbots that interact with humans to help them present their cases in traditional courts.

But now research shows that digital algorithms are poised to bring more transparency to the justice system, as the conventional court judgments given by judges will be supported by the dedicated AI expert systems.

The application of AI and technology expert systems is particularly needed in those countries where judges are corrupt and the authoritarian regimes subvert the judicial systems to achieve their political objectives. ~ Rakesh Raman

The Working Group on Cyberjustice and Artificial Intelligence (CEPEJ-GT-CYBERJUST) also examined, at its meeting of 7 May 2021, draft guidelines on the use of video conferencing in judicial proceedings. The mandate has been given by the CEPEJ in conformity with the standards of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

The draft guidelines incorporate procedural and technical aspects and provide for a system of monitoring the conditions of implementation of video conferencing in line with judicial practice.

According to CEPEJ, recent developments in digital justice appear as real opportunities to improve the quality and efficiency of justice. At the same time, they constitute new challenges for the respect of the fundamental principles of the trial, essential guarantees of judicial systems, such as the primacy of the rule of law, the independence and impartiality of the judge, the principle of adversarial proceedings or the protection of fundamental freedoms.

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Rakesh Raman