The Institute of Law of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) recently released a Blue Book on the rules of law, in which it states that artificial intelligence (AI) is having a profound impact on the judiciary and courts. “AI judges” and “AI lawyers” are moving from concept to reality. In future, it is very likely that robots will write judgments on behalf of the courts. According to the Blue Book, AI is showing high application value in the way trial results are generated, and in the consideration of court hearings from different locations.

For routine cases, the machine will learn the logic of previous arguments of judges. This reference will become of great, if complementary significance to the judge handling a case. The Blue Paper states that “practice has proven already that it is highly likely that robots will be able to draft judgments on behalf of courts in the future”.

In order to meet the requirements of emotional and legal values, the Blue Book suggests that emotional issues should be left to people and legal issues to robots, and the scope of application of AI should be precisely demarcated. New types of cases and the detection of the facts of such cases will be handled mainly by people, while routine cases and the application of existing law on them will be handled mainly by robots.

However, a robot algorithm review system needs to be established to solve the legal question of various “algorithmic black holes“, e. g., faulty algorithms.

The Blue Book states: “The development of AI technology may bring about a reform of the judicial trial system. The concepts of court hearing, service of process, examination of testimony, and judgment of routine cases may be redefined by the vision of AI. This will also lead to further improvements in China’s procedural law.

Japan JST China news, April 16, 2021