ArticlesThe report of the Pissaridis committee and the Artificial Intelligence in the administration of Justice

January 24, 2021by Stavros Koumentakis

What can the report of the (well-known) Pissaridis Committee have to do with artificial intelligence (: AI)? At first glance, nothing. With a closer look, however, we find that this report touches (and how it could not do so) the problems created in our country by the (problematic) administration of justice. However, it is known that artificial intelligence also deals with this issue (already quite successfully).

So here is their “meeting point”: The improvement of the administration of justice!


On the one hand: The report of the Pissaridis Committee

Data related to the administration of justice…

The final report of the Pissaridis Committee (: “Development Plan for the Greek Economy” -14.11.20) presents interesting truths about the administration of justice in our country. It (also) presents interesting suggestions for its improvement.

It records, among other things, the obvious: “Speed ​​and quality in the administration of justice is a decisive factor for the economic development of a country but also for the provision of equal opportunities to its citizens” (p. 65).

However, the facts that it quotes immediately after about our country do not make us proud. Indicatively (with data from 2017): for the final judgment (obviously meaning the issuance of final decisions) in the first instance in the civil and commercial courts, a little less than 500 days is required (a bit less, ie, than a year and a half) – the second worst time in Europe. For the administration courts: about 750 days (just over two years) is required- the fifth worst time in Europe.

The feeling we have is clearly not great (and let’s not even touch on the issuance of decisions on the second degree or a possible appeal before the third decree courts) … Even if we accept the facts as exactly stated in the report, we are lead before unfavorable findings. This report lists some of them.


…and the problems in entrepreneurship

“Due to the delays in the administration of justice, Greece is ranked only 146th in the world in terms of the implementation of contracts according to the annual Doing Business survey of the World Bank for 2020.

Another element of concern is that, according to the World Economic Forum (2018), the perception of Greek businesses about judicial independence is lower than the European average. The picture presented in the above indicators is due to entanglements both inside and outside the judicial system. Anchors outside the judicial system concern the legislative process and public administration. For example, the complexity and overlaps between laws, which give rise to legal disputes and unnecessarily burden the judiciary system… “.

It is (more than) obvious that these problems are directly working against entrepreneurship; in the end, against the national economy.


 And on the other hand: AI in the service of the administration of justice

The professions of the judge and the lawyer seem cut off from technology. But are they really?

The lawyer used to look for the legislation through huge volumes. Correspondingly, they looked for the jurisprudence through dozens of legal journals that, one by one, had be to researched and studied. And so did the judge.

The lawyer used to give their manuscripts for typing “to the girl across the courts”.

Even if there was such a lawyer today, who would trust them? What if we met a lawyer who would not have access to an online legal database? Could we trust them?

The answers seem obvious.

But would the negative answer to the question: “Would I trust AI more than a lawyer or a judge” be as obvious?

Let us not rush to answer in the negative!

Two years ago, twenty top (and most experienced) American lawyers-members of global law firms were called upon to deal with (as part of a landmark study) specialized LawGeex AI. The aim was to identify specific defects in five non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) which are known to be the first step in most trade agreements.

The study focused on efficiency and speed.

Unfortunately for the lawyers – fortunately for development, the “machine” came out victorious. The results are impressive:

LawGeex AI achieved 94% accuracy in just 26 seconds.

Lawyers achieved an average accuracy rate of 85% by spending 92 minutes on average…

However, this is not the first victory of AI in the legal world…

One year before the victory of LawGeex AI, the AI ​​system called Case Cruncher Alpha was faced with one hundred (100) lawyers from the most prestigious Law Firms in London.

The “rivals” (AI on the one hand and lawyers on the other) were given the basics of hundreds of cases of erroneous PPI sales (: payment protection insurance). The aim in this case was to predict whether the out-of-court dispute resolution body of a financial nature (: Financial Ombudsman) would accept the claims raised.

The figures, here too, look shocking:

Of the 775 forecasts submitted by the contestants, CaseCruncher had a success rate of 86.6%.

The success rate of lawyers amounted to 66.3%…

Both LawGeex AI and Case Cruncher Alpha are commercial products. And as much as we (lawyers or businessmen) are shocked by the possibility, wouldn’t we like the idea of ​​trying (and, why not, using) their services?

And further: Would it seem safer for the administration of justice for the judges to have such an “assistant” when on a trial? An “assistant” who would provide them, in a matter of seconds, with all the information they needed to get give justice? Not only with the applicable legislation but also with the trends of case law at a national (and not only) level?

It indeed seems really dangerous to replace our lawyer or, much more, our judge with AI.

But is it time to provide them with such tools?

Or, for now, encourage them to study them and, why not, utilize them?


 The proposals of the Pissaridis Committee

The proposals to improve the administration of justice could only be described as interesting. Let us focus on two of them (p. 70): (a) the institution of assistant judges and (b) the digitization of justice. Specifically:

The institution (and branch) of the assistants

“For the most efficient use of judges’ time, it is proposed to establish a separate branch of assistants.

Assistants are used in many other countries such as France (assistants de justice), the United Kingdom (judicial assistants), and the United States (judicial clerks).

The assistants who assist judges with case law research in these countries are selected from among the best law school graduate and have a short term of office (of only a few years) after which they can work either as judges or lawyers. One way to implement the institution of assistants in Greece is for them to be judges in lower ranks who serve part of their time and for a short period of time in the position of assistant, gaining useful experience for their future development in the industry “.


The digitization of justice

“The process of digitizing justice must continue at a rapid pace. … The success of the project requires not only the acquisition of information systems, but also the organizational restructuring, so that the possibilities provided by these systems are utilized. In particular, the operation of information systems should be adequately supported by staff with digital skills. The use of these systems should be made mandatory… ”


The (near) future

We must take it for granted that the utilization of AI in our country (as well) is not far. We will first see it in law firms and law offices. We will see it later, inevitably, in the administration of justice as well.

What is happening today is that the LawGeex AI product can be purchased by someone (lawyer / law firm) in order to improve the services they provide to their clients or, simply, to facilitate their work. Obviously, one could locate and acquire other similar products.

Respectively, what is already proposed by the Pissaridis Committee (to improve the administration of justice) is the establishment of a (already existing in other legal systems) distinct branch of judicial assistants. Would it seem impossible to imagine AI in the position of assistants (or “assistants” of assistants)? Would anyone dare to answer in the negative?

And if there is even one (senior-without a doubt), I have a question for them: Would they dare to think (just thirty years ago) that they could replace the many tens of volumes of recent jurisprudence with useful tools of online legal databases? And that, in the same database, they could easily, quickly and efficiently spot (“in the blink of an eye” -literally) the current legislation [instead of having to refer to the one hundred and eleven (111) volumes of the Standing Code of Legislation (of the well-known, then, “Raptarchi”) – provided it was correctly, and without omissions, updated]?


The recession of our national economy for the last year is deep – it is expected to land at the, not at all negligible, 10%. To this end, we must work together to achieve its overthrow.

The improvement of speed and quality in the administration of justice will be (according to the Pissaridis report as well) a decisive factor for the economic recovery and development of our country.

Artificial Intelligence in the service of the administration of justice may today, in the minds of some, seem utopian. It is a given, however, that it is already a reality. Its further development is expected to be rapid. In this way, it will become a further useful (but also accessible) tool in the hands of lawyers and, without a doubt, of judges as well.

Let us allow ourselves to imagine this day; it is not, after all, that far away.

It will be, without a doubt, a better one for lawyers ˙ for judges ˙ for businesses.

And in the end: for the economy and for mankind.-

Stavros Koumentakis
Managing Partner


P.S. A brief version of this article has been published in MAKEDONIA Newspaper (January 24, 2021).


Disclaimer: the information provided in this article is not (and is not intended to) constitute legal advice. Legal advice can only be offered by a competent attorney and after the latter takes into consideration all the relevant to your case data that you will provide them with. See here for more details.

Stavros Koumentakis
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(+30) 2310 27 80 84

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