Law firm managers and in-house counsel will increasingly rely on artificial intelligence for decisions on the best strategic course to take in the future, according to a Law Society study.
Evidence provided to MPs by those involved in or observing the courts have outlined wide-ranging concerns about the government’s court modernisation programme.
Ethical risks of using algorithms in justice system under spotlight as Law Society launches commission
Ethical, moral and legal risks from the growing use of algorithms are under the spotlight as the Law Society launches a public policy commission today on the impact of new technology on the justice system. One of the commissioners, said she was particularly concerned by the use of algorithms in the sensitive areas of divorce and employment law.
The Lord Chief Justice has called the ability of computers to use big data to predict outcomes “one of the most exciting developments of the age” and forecast the technology would be used to prevent litigation and promote settlements. In the long run, he anticipated that AI would reduce the number of disputes reaching trial.
The Ministry of Justice is at risk of freezing out a large number of vulnerable people from accessing the online court if it does not reshape its strategy for assisting the ‘digitally excluded’, according to a major study by the Civil Justice Council. Meanwhile, another report called for further research targeted at hard-to-reach groups such as the homeless and detained persons.
The Ministry of Justice’s top civil servant has told MPs that the government’s massive court reform programme will have failed if it does not carry the support of those who work in and use the courts. Meanwhile, the chief executive of HM Courts and Tribunal Service stressed that non-digital systems would remain alongside digital ones.
The Courts Service is still “considering views” on introducing flexible operating hours, which provoked an angry reaction from the profession last year. Chief executive Susan Acland-Hood admitted that the service did not need flexible hours to deliver its promised savings from modernisation.
The Courts Service has laid out how it will develop its new online divorce facility, starting with enabling lawyers to submit petitions on behalf of clients and also developing both public and private family law services that are fully accessible online.
A key shot in the battle to harness technology to shrink the role of lawyers in drawing up agreements has been fired by a major global law firm, initially dealing with simple non-disclosure agreements but promising to venture deep into commercial contract territory.
The failure of HM Courts and Tribunals Service to carry the support of lawyers for its ambitious modernisation plans has contributed to failing to meet its timetable, according to Parliament’s spending watchdog. The National Audit Office warned that the service was “behind where it expected to be at this stage” of the £1bn reforms
It’s slightly tongue-in-cheek, but let’s see if we can design a business model that is doomed to struggle and which will ensure that we miss out on the profit and cash opportunities that come with providing high-value services at high prices in a near-monopoly situation.
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