We live under the assumption that the field of law is rather perpetual and unmodifiable, and a far cry from being connected with daily life and daily needs; whereas in fact, it turns out to be a quite dynamic and it is becoming more and more user friendly by the introduction of new technologies which improve both access, from an user perspective, and practicality for those serving the law.
Clearly, changes at a fundamental level take time, but the adoption of new technologies by the legal professionals has allowed incredible advances in the field.
A perfect example to contextualize this is the introduction of legal recommender systems in which users receive suggestions of other relevant sources of law. One may ask, why is this relevant? Well, professional users such as lawyers and judges have expressed in many occasions the need for a better and easier access to related legal documents in their respective field of law.
Therefore, the need for a legal recommender system is there, and many initiatives have started to work around projects aimed to create such systems. These portals could basically ''provide access to relevant case law given a certain legislative article focus for a user and adapt the ranking of relevant articles based on the related case law'' as expressed by R. Winkels when talking about his own platform in his paper Towards a Legal Recommender system (2014).
Two main gains can be abstract from the usage of such platforms, in the first place, it would offer much more transparency to the whole juridical system, specially when it comes to validate judge decisions as it would better explain and justify the veridic. Furthermore, the system itself would also provide a justification for its algorithm, in other words, it would explain why it selected certain articles over others.
It is clear by now that emerging technologies , such as the one named above, have a substantial relevance to the evolution of justice system and juridical process in general. 2 Technology is reshaping the system in two main levels; on the first place , and at the most basic one, technology is assisting to inform, advice and support people involved in the justice system. Secondly , technology is as well, at a lower pace, replacing functions and activities that were previously performed by humans (Sourdin, 2015).
Winkels, R., Boer, A., Vredebregt, B., & Van Someren, A. (2014). Towards a Legal Recommender System. Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications, 271, 169-178.
Sourdin, T. (2015). Justice and Technological Innovation. Access to Justice, 42, 1-13.