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AI and lawyer verification key planks of EU justice strategy

03 Jan 2019 / EU Print

AI and lawyer verification are key EU justice priorities

The EU Justice and Home Affairs Council recently adopted the Strategy and Action Plan on the development of e-justice for the period 2019-2023.

During that period, the EU’s e-justice work will be focused on three key objectives.

  • Improved access to information,
  • Continued digitisation of judicial and extrajudicial proceedings,
  • Management of the national e-justice systems to facilitate inter-operability between member states.

High priority is given to two projects initially proposed by the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) of which the Law Society is a member, along with the Bar of Ireland.

Firstly, the creation of a verification system for the status of a lawyer (including the validity of their practising certificate) in electronic cross-border court procedures

And secondly, the drafting a guide on the use of artificial intelligence by lawyers in the EU.

For further background information see here.

Artificial Intelligence in Judicial Systems

Also this month, the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) of the Council of Europe has adopted the first European text setting out ethical principles relating to the use of artificial intelligence in judicial systems.

The Charter provides a framework of principles that can guide policy makers, legislators and justice professionals when they grapple with the rapid development of AI in national judicial processes.


The CEPEJ’s view is that AI can contribute to improving the efficiency and quality of courts’ work.

However, it must be implemented in a responsible manner which complies with the fundamental rights guaranteed in particular in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Personal Data.

For the CEPEJ, it is essential to ensure that AI remains a tool in the service of the general interest and that its use respects individual rights.

e-Justice portal

The e-Justice portal is a future tool for an electronic one-stop shop in the area of justice.

It contains information pages, search tools and dynamic browser interaction in an effort to improve and facilitate user experience.

The portal will be further developed and expanded during the next action plan.

Law Society Public Affairs Manager Cormac O Culáin is the Society’s CCBE contact point.

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