The Law Commission of Ontario (LCO) has released a third major report examining artificial intelligence (AI) and automated decision-making (ADM) in the Canadian justice system.
“Accountable AI” analyzes AI and ADM systems used to assist government decision-making, and considers issues of legal accountability when these systems are applied in decision-making in the civil and administrative justice systems.
Key questions explored in the report include:
- Why and how governments are using AI
- How AI changes government decision-making
- The elements of AI regulation
- How to fulfill the promise of “Trustworthy AI”
- How to adapt human rights and administrative law to government AI decision-making
- Ensuring public engagement
- Improving access to justice
The LCO’s “Accountable AI” report identifies 19 recommendations to address bias in AI systems, “black-box” decision-making, due process, and the need for public engagement.
The final report is available online here: https://www.lco-cdo.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/LCO-Accountable_AI_Final_Report.pdf.
For the LCO’s other reports on AI, ADM and the justice system, visit the LCO website here: https://www.lco-cdo.org/en/our-current-projects/ai-adm-and-the-justice-system/.
The Access to Justice Centre for Excellence at the University of Victoria (UVic ACE) has published new research that examines the pathways that people in British Columbia take to solve their civil justice problems. Understanding what people do when they experience a serious civil justice problem and the pathways that are accessible to them to resolve those problems offers important insights into people’s legal awareness and the impact of public legal education and information for the public. It also provides understandings on how people engage with the justice system. In addition, the increased use of technology in the legal sector is transforming how people interact with the legal system and requires further study to understand the impacts for existing pathways and the new pathways that will become available.
The “Navigating Access to Justice Pathways” report includes findings from an exploratory study of experiences with civil and family law problems in British Columbia that aims to:
- Develop a more robust understanding of how people define the civil and family law justice problems they experience
- Map common pathways used to resolve civil and family justice problems
- Identify the barriers people face when they try to access certain pathways and the impact of those barriers on their decisions
- Understand how people prioritize and manage multiple legal problems
Navigating Access to Justice Pathways: Problem Resolution Routes for People Experiencing Civil and Family Law Problems in British Columbia by Yvon Dandurand, Jessica Jahn, Cathy Tait, and Megan Capp is available online here: https://ajrndotco.files.wordpress.com/2022/06/5876c-navigatingaccesstojusticepathways_ace_april20_2022.pdf.
On average, it costs users of local, paralegal services in Sierra Leone US $8.44 to access the service, far below what it costs to access the formal justice system. According to a new report on the Costs and Benefits of Community-Based Justice in Sierra Leone, without these community-based justice services, the government would spend approximately US $23.3M to support access to justice services through the formal justice system. This compares with approximately US $18.3M to access community-based justice services. This is among several important findings from a first-of-its-kind study by the Center for Alternative Policy Research & Innovation on The Costs and Benefits of Community-Based Justice in Sierra Leone.
The report makes 10 recommendations for scaling up paralegal-based justice services, including:
- Establishing a National Legal Empowerment Fund;
- Funding exploratory research;
- Further reducing out-of-pocket costs to access community-based justice services;
- Meaningfully integrating community-based justice services in the broader justice sector; and
- Building robust and efficient monitoring and evaluation systems.
The Costs and Benefits of Community-Based Justice in Sierra Leone by Felix Marco Conteh, Yakama Manty Jones, Sonkita Conteh, Henry Mbawa and Aisha Fofana Ibrahim (CAPRI) is available online here: https://www.caprisl.org/post/the-costs-and-benefits-of-community-based-justice-in-sierra-leone.
This project was funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and is one of the final research outputs from a multi-country research initiative on Community-Based Justice Research.
The Department of Justice of Canada has released a call for projects under the Canadian Family Justice Fund (CFJF). The CFJF “facilitates access to the family justice system for families experiencing separation and divorce through the provision of various services, programs and information resources”.
Project proposals are being sought that focus on the following priority areas:
- Supporting the well-being of family members
- Reaching diverse and underserved populations
- Supporting alternatives to court
- Improving and streamlining family justice system links/processes
Individuals, non-profit organizations and non-profit professional organizations, societies or associations, educational institutions, and private sector organizations sponsoring non-profit projects in partnership with federal, provincial, or territorial governments are invited to apply. Information on the Canadian Family Justice Fund is available in English at https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/fund-fina/famil/index.html et en français à : https://www.justice.gc.ca/fra/fina-fund/famil/index.html.