Robots don black cap for lower court judges

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Professor Tania Sourdin predics that simple civil cases will be decided by computer systems in the future

Prof Tania Sourdin in the Law Library

Lower court judges are likely to be phased out and replaced by artificial intelligence systems, the International Bar Association’s annual conference heard this morning, as lawyers predict a ‘judge AI revolution’.

Professor Tania Sourdin, dean of Australia’s Newcastle University Law School, predicted that simple civil cases will be decided by computer systems in the future, rather than by human beings.

‘It seems to me that judges at lower court levels are likely to be phased out,’ Sourdin said at a virtual event on developments in AI and the judiciary.

‘It’s unlikely to happen in family and criminal areas, although AI will play an increasingly important role there…It has been suggested by some that more regulatory areas - for example taxation disputes - will be opened up to forms of AI, but it seems to me the most likely areas are the simple civil cases, possibly personal injury cases and certainly very simple contractual matters.’

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