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The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in judicial systems at the heart of the discussions of the CEPEJ Working Group on Quality of Justice

headline Strasbourg 14 September 2018
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The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in judicial systems at the heart of the discussions of the CEPEJ Working Group on Quality of Justice

The CEPEJ Working Group on Quality of Justice will hold its 24th meeting in Riga (Latvia), on 25 and 26 September 2018. At the event, the Group will examine the challenges and opportunities related to the application of algorithms in judicial systems, with a particular focus given to so-called "predictive" justice tools. In particular, the group will review the draft Ethical Charter on the use of artificial intelligence in judicial systems, which is due to be adopted by the CEPEJ in December 2018. The Charter, which would be the first to be published by a European Organisation on this subject, will be accompanied by a scientific study, a glossary and an examination of the different applications of AI that can help to improve the work of legal professionals. Through this work, the CEPEJ aims to promote the use of AI in a responsible way, guided by respect for fundamental rights and ethical principles and responding to the needs of legal professionals.

In line with previous work on Cyberjustice, the Group will consider a Toolkit to facilitate the implementation of the 2016 Guidelines on how to drive changes towards Cyberjustice, as well as a document on the creation and implementation of an electronic case management system with a user-centred approach, which could provide guidance to countries engaged in the development of such systems.

A guide on the communication of courts and criminal prosecution authorities with the public and the media, as well as a discussion paper aimed at improving knowledge sharing within the courts, will also be discussed.

The meeting of the Working Group will be followed by a Conference on Artificial Intelligence in the Service of the Judiciary, co-organised by the CEPEJ and the Latvian Courts Administration, on 27 September 2018 in Riga. This conference will bring together representatives of academia, legal professionals, judicial institutions from different European countries and the Republic of Latvia to explore how artificial intelligence can be used to support the work of legal professionals and courts and ensure a better quality of justice. It will also highlight the principles and values that should guide the application of artificial intelligence in judicial systems.

To recap, the Courts Administration of the Republic of Latvia was awarded the Crystal Balance Prize in 2015 for its "Labelling System for Audio Recordings" initiative. Details of this initiative can also be found in the CEPEJ newsletter which has just been published. The meeting of the Working Group as well as the Conference will contribute to the CEPEJ's special file on future justice / predictive justice.

 Link to the draft agenda of the Working group meeting

  Link to the CEPEJ special file on artificial intelligence

  Link to the CEPEJ Newsletter on Justice of the future

 More information about the Working group on quality of justice


At a glance

In setting up the European Commission for  the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) at the end of 2002, at the initiative of the European  ministers of Justice who met in London (2000), the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe wanted to establish an innovative body for improving the quality and efficiency of the European judicial systems and  strengthening the court users’ confidence in such systems.

A short movie presenting the CEPEJ has been realised by the Directorate of Communication of the Council of Europe.

The CEPEJ develops concrete measures and tools aimed at policy makers and judicial practitioners in order to:

  • Analyse the functioning of judicial systems and orientate public policies of justice
  • Have a better knowledge of judicial timeframes and optimize judicial time management
  • Promote the quality of the public service of justice
  • Facilitate the implementation of European standrards in the field of justice
  • Support member states in their reforms on court organisations

The CEPEJ also contributes with specific expertise to debates about the functioning of the justice system in order to provide a forum for discussion and proposals and bring the users closer to their justice system.