The legal reform charity, the Centre for Justice Innovation, has suggested that the MOJ should commit to trialling online legal advice services whereby people can manage their own legal issues and to testing AI in key justice decisions to see whether it more accurately predicts better outcomes than humans.
The study concludes (quite rightly) that the justice system is stuck in a bygone age of letter-writing, files and face-to-face appointments. Whilst things seem to be slowly changing, for example with e-filing in the Business and Property Courts, the recent introduction of electronic billing (albeit we have yet to see an electronic bill!) and the online court pilot, a robotic court still seems a long way off.
The Ministry of Justice should fund tests of online self-service legal advice and ‘shadow’ judgments by artificial intelligence systems - but ensure that the governance of these and other emergent technologies is kept at arm’s length from both civil servants and legal professionals. That is core theme of a landmark study published today by legal reform charity the Centre for Justice Innovation.