Beyond Wooden Desks: The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Reshaping the Role of Court Staff

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearch

Abstract

The integration of artificial intelligence (AI) as an emerging actor into civil proceedings has the potential to transform the functioning of civil courts immensely. For several years, the use of AI-driven technologies specifically machine learning for predicting outcomes of new court decisions has been at the forefront of discussions among scholars, jurists, and policymakers. This should be, however, noted that the use of AI in courts is not limited to playing a decision-making role in the context of predictive justice. AI in its analytical capacity has a considerable potential to assist court staff with performing tasks such as evidence analysis also document and case management. Given that, it is timely to contribute to scholarly debates on the opportunities and most significantly the challenges that AI presents for court staff (e.g., judges, bailiffs, court clerks, etc) and the change of their traditional role in facilitating legal proceedings. This study aims to explore the impact of AI implementation – as an assistive analytical tool – on the role of court staff in civil proceedings.This research begins by discussing the benefits of using AI-driven technologies in civil proceedings. It highlights that AI can assist court staff in the automated processing of documents, such as filings and pleadings, to reduce their workload and optimize the efficient administration of civil justice. AI can also be utilised by court staff to analyse evidence to, for example, identify relevant information and patterns.This study also examines several challenges in integrating AI into civil proceedings. These challenges include ensuring transparency of data processing methods by court staff while using AI to conduct tasks. Additionally, a crucial concern is to ensure that the implementation of AI by court staff adheres to the standards of fair trial (in conformity with Article 6 of the ECHR) and general procedural rules (i.e., due process) in civil proceedings.This study argues that, to address these challenges, it is essential to primarily acknowledge them and develop transparent and accountable AI systems based on clear ethical and legal guidelines.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Heroes of the Judicial Periphery: Court Experts, Court Clerks, and Other Actors in the Shadows
EditorsAlan Uzelac, Stefaan Voet
PublisherHart Publishing
Chapter17
Pages358-376
Number of pages19
Edition1st
ISBN (Electronic)9781509980536
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 9 Jan 2025

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