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Centre for Commercial Law Studies

To what extent can judges be replaced by algorithms?

Dr Vasiliki Koukoulioti speaks to the Tax Journal about the use of artificial intelligence in judging the outcome of tax cases.

Verticle green lines of code across a whole laptop screen.

Image by Markus Spiske from Pixabay

Reliance on artificial intelligence (Al) is now common practice in the legal profession. Either through smart contracts, analytics or case management software, legal professionals increasingly use machine learning and Al-based tools for the quick, accurate and cost-efficient provision of legal services. 

However, this article argues that predictive justice carries some specific risks, including ossifying the law (by making judgements only on the basis of existing case law, rather than making changes as society changes); and not allowing for flexibility or innovation.

Dr Vasiliki Koukoulioti is Lecturer in Tax Law at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of London.

She writes: “Predictive justice will most probably shape the future dispute resolution process in most countries. The House of Lords has already analysed the impact of its use in the criminal justice system (Al technology and the justice system: Lords committee report, November 2022). It is therefore crucial to strike a balance between its benefits and pitfalls. Making all case law and tax administration data freely accessible would be a step in this direction. Improving the transparency and explainability of the predictive tools would be another. An orchestrated policy and technology effort would thus be required to employ predictive justice to the best advantage of citizens, and taxpayers, in the UK and beyond.”



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