Justice of the future : predictive justice and artificial intelligence
- The processing of judicial data by so-called artificial intelligence systems or methods derived from data sciences are likely to improve the transparency of the functioning of justice by improving in particular the predictability of the application of the law and the consistency of case law.
- The so-called artificial intelligence systems or data sciences capable of providing support for legal advice, decision-making assistance or guidance for litigants must operate under conditions of transparency and fair processing, certified by an expert independent of the operator.
- Such processing must be carried out in compliance with the fundamental rights guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights and the Convention for the Protection of Personal Data.
In his report 2018 on "the situation of democracy, human rights and the rule of law", the Secretary General of the Council of Europe recalls the importance of the CEPEJ's work for the implementation of the Action Plan to strengthen the independence and impartiality of the judiciary. It is based on the evaluation of judicial systems carried out by the CEPEJ, in particular regard to the management of procedural delays by the courts. In his report, the Secretary-General also presents the challenges posed by technological developments and artificial intelligence, especially in the field of predictive justice. It stresses the potential of these developments to improve the predictability of the judicial process and to ensure the transparency of judges' work and the consistency of case law, but also notes that such processes cannot be limited to algorithms and must take into account particular circumstances and ensure respect for fundamental rights. The Council of Europe asked the CEPEJ to examine the implications of the use of artificial intelligence for the justice sector, from the point of view of both the efficiency of justice and its quality, and to formulate guidelines for the Member States.
At its 28th plenary meeting (Strasbourg, 6 – 7 December), the CEPEJ adopted its Guidelines on how to drive change towards Cyberjustice. These guidelines constitute a critical assessment of the systems deployed in the field of information systems in courts and a synthesis of good practices. The introduction of digital tools in the functioning of judicial systems has often been considered as a guarantee of greater efficiency, not always rightly. The results of IT projects in the Council of Europe member States over the last 15 years have enabled the CEPEJ to develop principles for public decision-makers in order to contribute to the efficient use of information technologies in particular in the context of judicial activity.
This file is based on a study session organised by the CEPEJ on 10 December 2015 at the 26th plenary meeting in Strasbourg and allowed presentation of ITC tools in the field of justice.