AI guidance for judges in England and Wales warns against risks

12:35 pm
December 12, 2023
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**AI Guidance for Judges in England and Wales Emphasizes Risks and Responsible Use**

In a bid to regulate and caution against the potential risks of artificial intelligence (AI) usage in courts and tribunals, a group of four senior judges in the United Kingdom has issued judicial guidance. The guidance, applicable to magistrates, tribunal panel members, and judges in England and Wales, aims to educate and raise awareness about the responsible use of AI in the justice system.

The guidance acknowledges the potential benefits of AI in administrative tasks such as summarizing texts, creating presentations, and drafting emails. It highlights the importance of judges understanding the proper use of AI in the justice system, as highlighted by Sir Geoffrey Vos, England’s second most senior judge.

While recognizing the potential opportunities presented by AI, the guidance emphasizes the need for caution. It warns against relying on AI-generated information due to the possibility of inaccuracies, incompleteness, and misleading or outdated data. Additionally, it cautions against the use of AI for legal research and analysis, stressing the influence of United States laws on most AI systems, which may not accurately represent English law.

This development comes in the wake of the U.K.’s inaugural AI Safety Summit held at the beginning of November, where discussions revolved around the future of AI safety. Furthermore, it closely follows the European Union’s landmark AI regulation agreement, which covers various aspects of regulating AI technology.

This guidance serves as the first step in a series of efforts aimed at supporting judiciary interactions with AI. In the future, judges in both courts and tribunals will have the opportunity to participate in surveys and submit any related questions.

Source: [Judiciary UK](https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/AI-Judicial-Guidance.pdf)

**FAQs**

1. **What does the AI judicial guidance in the UK focus on?**
The AI judicial guidance in the UK focuses on the responsible use of AI in courts and tribunals, cautioning against potential risks associated with AI usage.

2. **What are some of the cautions highlighted in the guidance?**
The guidance advises judges to be vigilant about consuming false information produced through AI searches and summaries. It also cautions against the use of AI for legal research and analysis, highlighting the potential inaccuracies and US law influences on AI systems.

3. **What does the future hold for the judiciary’s interaction with AI?**
The issuing judges have indicated that the guidance forms part of a “suite of future work” to support judiciary interactions with AI. In the future, judges in both courts and tribunals will have the opportunity to take part in surveys and submit questions.

4. **What recent developments have taken place in the field of AI regulation?**
The UK recently held its inaugural AI Safety Summit, while the European Union reached an agreement on a landmark AI regulation that covers various aspects of regulating the technology.

5. **How does the guidance aim to assist judges in England and Wales?**
The guidance aims to educate and raise awareness among judges about the responsible use of AI in the justice system and to caution them about potential risks associated with AI usage.


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