United Kingdom: Approval of the Guidance for Judicial Office Holders

The use of Artificial Intelligence across society continues to increase, paralleling its relevance for the Judiciary. In this paradigm, the Judicial Office of the United Kingdom approved the use of artificial intelligence by publishing a ‘‘Guidance for Judicial Office Holders’’. This guide establishes that judges and magistrates in the country can now employ ChatGPT and other tools for drafting judicial sentences.

> What are the principles applicable to the use of artificial intelligence?

The ‘‘Guidance for Judicial Office Holders’’ marks a significant milestone by establishing clear and specific principles regarding the integration of artificial intelligence in the judicial process, including:

  1. Understand artificial intelligence and its applications: Before using any AI tool, judges must ensure they have a basic understanding of its capabilities and potential limitations.
  2. Preserve the confidentiality and privacy of information: Judges introducing these tools should avoid inputting any information into a public artificial intelligence Chatbot that is not already in the public domain. Therefore, private or confidential information should not be entered.
  3. Ensure the accuracy of information generated by artificial intelligence: The accuracy of any information provided by an AI tool must be verified before using it or relying on it to make a resolution. It is cautioned that information from AI tools may be inaccurate, incomplete, misleading, or not up-to-date, and may not accurately represent English legislation.
  4. Be aware of biases: AI tools generate responses based on the dataset they were trained on. Thus, it is cautioned that the generated information will inevitably reflect errors and biases in their training data. In this regard, reference is made to the Equal Treatment Bench Book of the judicial organization.
  5. Use secure tools: Following best practices to maintain one's own and the court's security is advised. Therefore, using work devices (instead of personal devices) to access AI tools is recommended.
  6. Assume responsibility for use: The guide warns that holders of judicial bodies are personally responsible for the material produced in their name, although they are generally not obliged to describe the research or preparatory work they have undertaken to craft a sentence. On the other hand, if secretaries or judicial assistants use AI tools in the course of their work for the court, the holder of the court should discuss it with them to ensure they use these tools properly and take measures to mitigate any risks arising from their use.
  7. Be aware that professionals acting before the court may have used AI tools: The guide finally warns that certain types of AI tools have been used by professionals for a considerable time without difficulty.

> Uses and potential risks of generative artificial intelligence in the Judiciary

Regarding potential risks, the published document argues that legal research is not recommended to be conducted using AI tools as they are an ineffective way to conduct investigations for finding new information that cannot be independently verified. While they may be useful as a means of recalling material that someone would recognize as correct, their use for these purposes is not recommended.

Additionally, the legal analysis by professionals using AI tools is not recommended, as current public Chatbots do not produce convincing analyses or reasoning, and there is a risk of 'hallucination' in texts of considerable length.

On the other hand, potentially useful tasks that can facilitate the daily work of the courts are recognized. Firstly, AI tools can summarize large volumes of text, and their use for such purposes is recommended. Likewise, they can be used when writing presentations, for example, to provide suggestions on topics to cover or perform administrative tasks when drafting emails and memoranda.

> Conclusion

In the United Kingdom, the inclusion of artificial intelligence tools in the process of drafting judicial sentences not only reflects a progressive acceptance in the legal field but also emphasizes the importance of the intersection between technology and judicial decision-making.

Judicial officials need to understand and manage the inherent biases in these tools and be aware of their responsibility in their use to prevent misuse. Therefore, this document underscores the importance of a careful adaptation of legal practice to the possibilities and challenges presented by artificial intelligence in the judicial domain.

Finally, this new dynamic invites us to reflect on the potential influence of advanced algorithms and language models in the drafting of legal documents, challenging established conventions.



Milagros Tallarico

Semi Sr. Associate

Alfaro Abogados es un firma de abogados de Argentina orientada a la industria y fundada en 1998 para participar como actor en transacciones internacionales. Cumplimos con los criterios requeridos por el entorno empresarial actual, proporcionando un asesoramiento jurídico ágil y práctico para la resolución de problemas, así como la experiencia intercultural y jurídica necesaria para las transacciones internacionales en una economía global.

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