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New year, new ERC team member!

On 1 January 2020 Betül Kas joined our ERC team as a postdoc researcher on the subproject on privatisation of civil justice. She is the successor of Alexandre Biard, who as of December 2019 continued his career as a senior advisor at BEUC in Brussels, where he will be able to use his extensive research experience for the benefit of enforcing consumer rights in the EU. We are grateful for his invaluable contribution to our project, resulting in an impressive number of publications and conference presentations among others. We all greatly appreciated his many initiatives, his fieldwork, support of the other researchers, work spirit, and good sense of humour. We are happy to keep him in our team as an affiliated researcher and look forward to our futher collaboration.

We welcome Betül to our team as the successor of Alexandre for the postdoc project on privatisation. She has an impressive track record, having worked among others as a PhD researcher in the ERC Advanced project of Hans Micklitz at the European University Institute in Florence and as a postdoc researcher in the Vidi project led by Chantal Mak at the University of Amsterdam. Her German background will further strengthen our research on German law and practice. One of her research focuses will be the interaction between public and private justice. We are very happy to have Betül on our team and look forward to working with her in 2020 and onwards!

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Published: May 25, 2018

On 24 May 2018 an expert roundtable took place at the Erasmus University Rotterdam entitled ‘The use of artificial intelligence in legal decision-making’. This Roundtable was organized by Dr. Erlis Themeli, Dr. Stefan Philipsen, and Prof. Evert Stamhuis with the support of the Erasmus Initiative Dynamics of Inclusive Prosperity. The experts attending the event came from the legal practice, government, academia, and ICT sector. The aim of the roundtable was to map the developments in and research on the use of AI in legal decision-making, and to outline a research agenda for the near future. Prof. Stefano Puntoni (Rotterdam School of Management) and Prof. Xandra Kramer were invited to provide some ‘food for thought’ for the participants and to contribute to the discussion.

AI is one the frontiers of the digitalization of justice. It has the potential to increase access to justice and to improve the position of vulnerable parties. However, AI remains complex and its use in the application of justice carries the risk of creating a ‘black-box’ without transparency or accountability. As was pointed out in the Roundtable, the use of AI in legal decision-making creates legal, economic, as well as ethical dilemmas. What would happen if the judge is a machine? Is there a right to a human judge? What is the added value of a human judge? Is it possible to fully comprehend the decisions of a machine? These questions form the outline of a future research agenda into the use of AI in legal decision-making.

Considering the success of the event, the organizers plan to develop a theoretical framework and to design an empirical research on the reception of automated decision-making by court users.