The states of emergencies established in many countries respond to an extraordinary and grave situation which is endangering the life of millions of people worldwide.
According to a recent study issued by European Commission / Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers there were 130 projects identified in using innovative technologies – 93 projects of Member State authorities and the judiciary, 8 – of legal professional organisations and 29 – of ICT companies based on their products and services.
The study identified 8 categories of business problems that the projects aim to solve and mapped these problems to 8 business solution categories.
Completed or ongoing projects, which ‘meet’ and ‘exceed’ the stakeholders’ expectations, are suggested for exchange of good practices.
A variety of adaptation strategies has led its way through for the sake of daily operations
A dedicated study carried out by a contractor is turning a regard to the use of innovative technologies in the justice field. The observed period is from August 2019 to May 2020 and is focusing on several objectives:
- Establish the relevant existing EU legal and policy framework and summarise all aspects that need to be taken into account in terms of innovation technologies in the justice field in a coherent and narrative way
- Take stock of the situation in the European institutions, all EU Member States and specific legal professional organisations with regard to present and planned pilot and in production systems using innovative technologies in the justice field.
- Establish an inventory of the existing relevant use cases in the justice field, where innovative technologies are currently used by the public and private sector or in an academic context, or potential relevant use cases as part of ongoing or already completed exercises.
- Objective 04: Identify the key off-the-shelf software products and/or services, which are being applied or could be applied to the defined use cases in the justice field.
- Identify the areas of possible interest in the justice field.
To meet these objectives, a three-steps approach was applied as follows: 1) step 1 – Fact-finding, 2) ste 2 – Analysis and Evaluation and 3) step 3 – Way forward.
Identifying the problem is key to come up with a solution
With an objective of grouping the business problems tackled during the implementation of the projects carried out by public authorities and the judiciary in the Member States, and by legal professional organisations, the following eight (8) categories of business problems have been identified:
Every problem has a solution
Additionally, the study linked the aforementioned business problem categories to 8 business solutions that the projects using AI or blockchain technologies aim to achieve:
One solution for multiple business issues
As it states in the report, one business solution may solve more than one business problem as per the aforementioned business problem categories. In this regard, a summary is given to provide relevant information of the solutions application.
– Anonymisation and pseudonymisation is a solution used in 12 projects of the Member States’ authorities (or 13% of all 93 projects)
– Data security and traceability is a solution used in 16 projects (or 17%)
– Digital assistance is a solution used in 4 projects (or 4%)
– Facial and/or object recognition is a solution used in 5 projects (or 5%)
– Predictive analytics is a solution used in 5 projects (or 5 %)
– Process automation is a solution used in 32 projects (or 34 %)
– Search optimisation is a solution used in 10 projects (or 11 %)
– Speech/text-to-text/speech solutions are used in 9 projects (or 10%)
Close Collaboration and Strenght
Together with suggestions for exchange of good practices on the said projects, the following recommendations are drawn horizontally, cutting across several points observed in this study:
Coordination at EU level of efforts and activities. The study identified a number of projects in the Member States with similar objectives, business problems and technologies used to solve them. Therefore, in order to avoid duplication of effort and to ensure semantic and organisational interoperability, there is a need for coordination of and improved communication on project activities at EU level.
Collaboration and experience sharing about projects on a regular basis. There are a number of ongoing and planned projects, together with initiatives at European and Member State level. Establishment of a mechanism with focus on innovative technologies in the justice field would facilitate experience sharing between the EU institutions, national public authorities, the judiciary and legal professional organisations and compilation of lessons learned.
Strengthening existing partnerships and networks. Existing partnerships between European and MS organisations, such as the AI4EU observatory23 or EU blockchain observatory and forum24, should be further strengthened with larger involvement of experts in the justice field. This would contribute to raising awareness about the benefits of innovative technologies and better understanding how these can help in solving specific problems.
Recommendation for establishing a supporting mechanism for legal professional organisations. Defining a supporting mechanism for legal professional organisations to facilitate the preparation and implementation of proof of concepts (PoC) as ‘quick wins’ that would demonstrate added value and benefits of the innovative technologies for the practitioners.
These actions and mechanisms may include creation of network and knowledge sharing platforms to engage the stakeholders from the public and the private sector into dialogue (including with EU institutions, bodies and agencies), to support them in finding information on current projects involving innovative technologies (in their Member State or elsewhere), to assist them throughout the project lifecycle by identifying partners and funding opportunities and preparing proofs of concept (PoC).