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Lord Chief Justice sets up advisory group on Artificial Intelligence

Photo of The Lord Chief Justice

The Lord Chief Justice

To make sure the Judiciary of England and Wales is fully informed about developments in artificial intelligence (AI), the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett of Maldon, has set up a new advisory body.

The purpose of the Lord Chief Justice’s AI Advisory Group is to offer guidance to him and to the senior Judiciary on:

  • the likely impact of developments in AI on the Judiciary and the court system;
  • ways of ensuring that judges are sufficiently trained on AI and its impact;
  • the most pressing legal, ethical, policy, cultural and economic effects of AI.

Lord Burnett has appointed Professor Richard Susskind to chair the 10-person team, made up of senior judges (including Lord Neuberger, past President of the UK Supreme Court; Sir Geoffrey Vos, Chancellor of the High Court; and Lady Justice Sharp, Vice-President of the Queen’s Bench Division) alongside leading experts on AI and law (including Kay Firth-Butterfield, the Head of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning at the World Economic Forum; and Professor Katie Atkinson, past president of the International Association for AI and Law).

Lord Burnett said: “It is vital that a modern Judiciary gives systematic thought to the long-term. AI is clearly one of the most important technologies of our day. So far, however, here and around the world, insufficient attention has been paid by judges to its impact on the work of the courts. Our new group should remedy this gap. I am grateful to them for bringing their considerable combined knowledge to the task.”

Prof Susskind said: “As our machines become increasingly capable, profound new possibilities and issues arise for courts, judges, and society generally. I look forward to tackling some of these, working with such a distinguished group.”

Members of the LCJ AI Advisory Group:

Professor Katie Atkinson is Professor of Computer Science and Head of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Liverpool. She is a past president of the International Association for AI and Law.

Mr Justice Birss was made a Justice of the High Court (Chancery Division) in May 2013 and nominated as a judge of the Patents Court at the same time. In October 2017, he became the Chancery Supervising Judge for the Midland, Wales and Western Circuits.

Orlando Conetta is Head of SmartDelivery at Pinsent Masons. With degrees in both law and computer science, he has specialized in AI and law for his entire career, and was the developer of TermFrame, an AI process platform.

Kay Firth-Butterfield is the Head of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning at the World Economic Forum. A former barrister, part-time judge, mediator, arbitrator, she cofounded AI-Austin, AI-Global and the Consortium for Law and Policy of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics.

Matthew Lavy is a barrister at 4 Pump Court, with a particular focus on technology-related disputes. He gained his doctorate in musicology from Cambridge in 2004. He is a Trustee of the Society for Computers and Law.

Lord Neuberger was the President of the UK Supreme Court from 2012 to 2017. Previously, he was Master of the Rolls (2009-2012), a Law Lord (2007-2009), and a Lord Justice of Appeal and Judge in charge of IT and modernization (2004-2007).

Lady Justice Sharp is Vice-President of the Queen’s Bench Division. She was called to the Bar in 1979 and was appointed as a Justice of the High Court in 2009. She was appointed as a Lady Justice of Appeal in 2013.

John Sorabji is Principal Legal Adviser to the Lord Chief Justice and Master of the Rolls  and a Senior Fellow at the Judicial Institute at UCL, where he has been an Honorary Professor in its Faculty of Law

Professor Richard Susskind wrote his doctorate on AI and law at Oxford and co-developed the world’s first commercial AI system for lawyers in the 1980s. He is President of the Society for Computers and Law; and Technology Adviser to the Lord Chief Justice.

Sir Geoffrey Vos is Chancellor of the High Court of England and Wales. He was appointed as a Lord Justice of Appeal in 2013 and was President of the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary from 2015 to 2017. He is a member of the UK’s LawTech Delivery Panel.  

Secretariat for the Group – Andrea Dowsett (Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the High Court)


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