The missed opportunity for more effective justice

The law creating a database of judgments and judgments closes the door to the use of artificial intelligence.

On May 5, 2019, Parliament finally gave Belgium a law creating a database of judgments and rulings. This essential management tool was missing (and still is missing) in our country. But this database is also and above all a great tool for advancing the law and making justice more efficient, by applying artificial intelligence to the basis of pseudonymised decisions.

Pierre Sculier.

Unfortunately, the government felt that this law was poorly writtenhas postponed its implementation on several occasions, and created working groups (to rewrite a new law) whose lawyers have unfortunately been dismissed, despite their requests.

This new text was adopted by the Justice Committee on 20 September and will be voted in plenary on October 6.

The lawyers were not heard on their request for an integral and open database, which can be exploited by algorithms.

Instead, the current text provides for a limitation of use for various purposesincluding historical and scientific purposes, but not for the application and development of law!

Artificial intelligence enables deeper, more precise legal research. It makes it possible to seek innovative solutions that advance the law

Similarly, the processing envisaged is indexing, which corresponds to 20th century processing methods, leaving aside artificial intelligence. Gold, artificial intelligence enables deeper, more accurate legal research. It makes it possible to seek innovative solutions that advance the law. It allows for better predictability, and therefore avoids the introduction of unnecessary procedures. It must be for the magistrate a effective decision support.

Finally, access to this database depends on the decision of a management committee whose lawyers were initially totally excluded, only to be finally offered a position as advisers, without voting power, even though They were in any case very much in the minority on this committee. This proposal is vexatious, and not in accordance with the opinion of the Council of Statewhich underlined the place of the lawyer in the functioning of justice.

Peter Callens.

The text proposed to Parliament is greatly weakened because it does not comply with European law. Indeed, the Data Governance Act regulations require the provision of public data, as are judgments and rulings.

Because it must be remembered with force, judicial decisions are a public goodowned by the state, which must be used for the common good.

The rejection of progress towards more effective justice makes this law a missed opportunitydespite more than three years of gestation, unless Parliament finally seriously considers the amendments suggested by the Bar Associations.

Pierre Sculier
President of AVOCATS.BE

Peter Callens
President of ADVOCAAT.BE

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The missed opportunity for more effective justice

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