Utilising AI in the Legal Assistance Sector – Testing a Role for Legal Information Institutes
LegalAIIA ’19, June 17, 2019, Montréal, Québec, Canada
6 Pages Posted: 26 May 2019
Date Written: April 29, 2019
The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in law has again become of great interest to lawyers and government. Legal Information Institutes (LIIs) have played a significant role in the provision of legal information via the web. The concept of ‘free access to law’ is not static, and its principles now require a LII response to the renewed prominence of AI, possibly to include improving and expanding free access to legal advice.
This paper proposes, and proposes to test, one approach that LIIs might take in the use of AI (specifically, ‘decision support’ or ‘intelligent assistance’ (IA) technologies), an approach that leverages the very large legal information assets that some LIIs have built over the past two decades. This approach focuses on how LIIs can assist providers of free legal advice (the ‘legal assistance sector’) to serve their clients. We consider the constraints that the requirement of ‘free’ imposes (on both the legal assistance sector and on LIIs), including on what types of free legal advice systems are sustainable, and what roles LIIs may realistically play in the development of such a ‘commons of free legal advice’. We suggest guidelines for development of such
systems. The AI-related services and tools that the Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII) is providing (the ‘DataLex’ platform) are outlined.
Keywords: Law, Decision Support Systems, Legal Information Institute, Lii, AI, Artificial Intelligence
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