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Estonia is without any doubt, one of the most developed countries in terms of digital technologies and cyber security. This is shown through multiple sectors of Estonian society such as health, public services, and of course, the judiciary system with many innovations. In the next lines, we are going to see what those innovations in the judiciary system are and how they improve its functioning.

Estonia announced in 2019, the development of artificial intelligence with the purpose of ruling cases concerning minor offenses where the damages are under 7 000 euros. The AI will be able to rule independently and its decisions will be automatically executed without the control of a human judge. This will work thanks to machine learning. So far, tests have been made in 2021. Other countries have also decided to take that step. Indeed, in China, an AI has been developed to analyze written reports of proceedings in order to decide to file a complaint or not. Its efficiency is estimated to be 97% for the most prevalent offenses.

Besides that, Estonia recently took a step towards a digital judiciary system. In fact, a speech recognition tool is going to replace clerks for long hearings. It has been announced that this tool has a precision rate of 92%.

By introducing these two digital tools, Estonia would like to speed up its legal procedures. We all know that those can take a long time, sometimes even many years. Estonia has the ambition to become the fastest-acting European country when it comes to the justice field. Those innovations are well welcomed by the citizens and the professionals because digital technologies are a part of the everyday life of Estonian society whereas, in other countries, such as France, there is still a lot of reluctance, mostly from legal professionals.

However, we should not see these innovations as a replacement for humans but more as help to improve public services functioning. Indeed, with these tools clerks could focus on other tasks, and artificial intelligence ruling would allow judges to put all their attention towards intricate cases that require more effort. Like we have already said, some cases that can be over in a few months, take a few years. Having tools to take care of these cases would only improve the judiciary system and its reputation.

Understanding how these tools work and how they can improve the work of legal professionals has become fundamental. Digital innovations would only go to accelerate, and we should take an example from the countries that are able to mix public services and these new tools which are now changing our personal and professional lives.


Laura Stahn

M2 Cyberjustice 2021/2022

A propos de COMED 2021/2022