A word from Antonín Mokrý , CCBE President

MokryToday is defining lawyers’ tomorrow.

Lawyers are witnessing unprecedented technological evolutions due to a combination of different factors, including the expansion of the amount of data available, and the fact that artificial intelligence is already playing a part in our daily lives. The development of justice applications based on AI and automated decision-making tools using machine learning capabilities is of immense importance, and deserves a conference in itself. As lawyers play an important role in ensuring access to justice, the defence of the Rule of Law and the protection of democratic values, they have a particular responsibility to contribute to the design of systems which can ensure justice and provide adequate safeguards.

As in 2016, when the CCBE organised a conference on “Innovation and the future of the legal profession”, the CCBE wishes to prepare lawyers for the future. The challenges arising from AI in relation to ensuring the fairness and transparency of judicial processes demonstrates the importance of deeply reflecting on what AI means for lawyers, and for society in general. This reality presents challenges for the role of lawyers, including how they can continue to ensure the fair and just treatment of citizens in their various interactions with judicial systems. In addition, special consideration needs to be given to the issue of how best to verify the transparent and proactive working of automated processes.

Lawyers are deeply and solidly embedded in human values and the need to ensure accessibility, fairness and equality with respect to judicial systems. Their professional and ethical obligations – which drive lawyers and constitute the core values of their practices - are there to protect citizens. The CCBE is particularly attached to the promotion of these values and the preservation of ethical standards to best serve the interests of citizens.

We are only at the beginning of a fascinating, yet in many ways challenging, process. Many options are still open, many directions can be taken. This conference aims to seek common grounds and objectives on how lawyers should engage with AI-based applications and automated decision-making tools in legal services and justice systems, to continue to ensure their contribution and role in this evolving environment.
Your voice counts, your opinion is heard and will be valued. Thank you for joining us in Lille and for participating in this fantastic journey!


A word from Thierry Wickers, Head of the French Delegation to the CCBE and Chair of the CCBE Future of the Legal Profession and Legal Services Committee, Member of the Bordeaux Bar

WickersHuman intelligence and human justice. This pairing is now being challenged by the progress made by a new form of intelligence. This new intelligence has already demonstrated its ability to compete with humans in the transport, health, finance and gaming fields. No one is in any doubt that it will be used in the justice sector. In fact, it has already penetrated this sector.

Development is taking place so quickly that platforms that offer artificial justice services, equipped with artificial intelligence and managed solely by it, are already available.

Between the two extremes of a justice that overlooks the potential offered by artificial intelligence and a justice that is completely dehumanised – in which judges (and lawyers?) would be replaced by machines – lies the justice of the future. All that remains is to flesh out the details.

All combinations are still possible today, but they will indeed be combinations, because it is certain that in the future human intelligence and artificial intelligence will be linked in the functioning of the justice system.

This particular moment in time, which comes before we tip over into a completely new world, and is also a moment during which choices are made that will decide on the best possible future, is the moment we are living in today. It will be extraordinarily brief. Now is the time to lay down the conditions for the use of artificial intelligence tools during the judicial process, as well as the rules to be applied to regulate its use.
Lawyers have an essential role to play in these considerations, because they know the price and stakes involved in a justice that is fair and respectful of the principles of equality of arms and the right of defence.

In Lille, we invite you to consider the role that artificial intelligence should be given, in order to make justice more humane, not inhumane.