Posts Tagged - legal profession

AI & the compression of law

Updating Wendell Holmes
Updating Wendell Holmes

Last month I had the privilege of being invited to deliver a talk to the Catalan Center for Legal Studies and Specialised Training, a centre for judicial training in Barcelona. The title of talk was ‘AI & the compression of law’, and in it my goal was to debunk the idea of the ‘robot judge’ (always depicted as a glassy white robot figure, either with a blindfold or the scales of justice). Instead, I argued, the worry with the use of AI in law is not the replacement of judges, but rather the subtle reshaping of their activities (and those of other parties in the litigation sphere) by systems whose machine learning underpinnings are geared toward a form of optimisation and relevance that are not necessarily compatible with legal notions of optimality or relevance.

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Response to the Scottish Government's consultation on legal services regulation reform

This response was written in December 2021 with Pauline McBride and submitted to the Scottish Government’s Consultation on legal services regulation reform.

Written submission from Dr. Pauline McBride1 and Dr. Laurence Diver.2

This submission is made in a personal capacity and not on behalf of any of the organisations with which we are affiliated.

We are pleased to have an opportunity to the make a written submission to the Scottish Government Consultation on Legal Services Regulation Reform in Scotland. Our submission is structured as follows: in Section 1 we highlight the importance of the independence of the legal profession for the rule of law; in Section 2 we express concerns about the assumptions and limitations of the consultation document and the Roberton report on which it is based; in Section 3 we flag concerns about funding for the Roberton and Market Regulator models; finally, in Section 4, we highlight the need for more careful consideration of the specific characteristics of legal tech and what these mean in terms of appropriate regulation.

  1. LLB (Hons), DipLP, PhD; solicitor; post-doctoral researcher, Vrije Universiteit Brussel: Counting as a Human Being in the Era of Computational Law (, member of the Technology Committee of the Law Society of Scotland. 

  2. LLB (Hons), DipLP, PGDip, LLM, PhD; post-doctoral researcher, Vrije Universiteit Brussel: Counting as a Human Being in the Era of Computational Law ( 

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