From Rule of Law to Statute Drafting: Legal Issues for Algorithms in Government Decision-Making

Governments are increasingly relying on algorithms to automate decision-making in diverse areas, including social welfare, criminal justice, healthcare, law enforcement and national security. This chapter sketches the way in which algorithms are or may be used across the spectrum of government decision making — from the drafting of legislation, to judicial decision making, to the implementation of laws by the executive branch. Then, based on scholarship in the field and our own empirical, doctrinal and theoretical work, the chapter examines the rule of law values affected by automated government decision making systems and the legal and practical issues that the implementation and supervision of such systems may pose in practice.

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Technology-based legal document generation services and the regulation of legal practice in Australia

This article examines, in the Australian context, the status of technology-based legal document generation services provided directly to the public, where the service provider is not a lawyer or law practice. A brief overview of how legal practice is regulated, what legal practice is and who can engage in it under Australian law is provided to consider the circumstances where this type of service may amount to the unauthorised practice of law. Keywords Unauthorised practice of law, unauthorized practice of law, legal document providers.

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Trade Mark Infringement and Artificial Intelligence


Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are starting to alter the way in which consumers shop for and purchase goods and services. This exploratory article examines some of the implications the increasing use of AI technologies may have to the law of trade mark infringement under New Zealand’s Trade Marks Act 2002. Trade mark infringement is typically predicated on a finding that there would be a likelihood of confusion caused by the defendant’s use of an identical or similar sign to a registered trade mark. Established trade mark doctrine assesses whether confusion is likely by having regard to the perceptions of the hypothetical “average” human consumer, who has deemed human traits and psychological characteristics. The article suggests that as AI becomes more heavily involved in helping consumers shop for and purchase goods and services various discordances with this established trade mark doctrine may develop. After analysing these potential discordances, the article considers how New Zealand trade mark legal doctrine may adapt. The article concludes by considering how the increasing use of AI technologies may challenge fundamental understandings of the role of trade marks, and the implications this could have for legal doctrine.

Batty, Rob,(2021). Trade Mark Infringement and Artificial Intelligence. New Zealand Business Law Quarterly (Forthcoming).

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How Consumer-Focused Innovations in the Legal Services Market Invigorate Access to Justice


The Legal Services Act 2007 was devised to effectuate a wide ranging reform in favour of access to justice, bringing about profound transformations to the legal services market. The essay examines the various mechanisms contrived to operate in the consumers’ interest, as well as the impact of technology disruption on the private and business segments of the legal services market.

Kim, Habbine Estelle, (2016). How Consumer-Focused Innovations in the Legal Services Market Invigorate Access to Justice.

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Solicitors Regulation Authority publishes new anti-money laundering report

Work carried out to make sure solicitors keep criminals from using the profession to launder money has been detailed in a new review.

The SRA have published their first professional supervisor report, a recent requirement placed on all supervisors by both the Money Laundering Regulations and guidance by the Office for Professional Body Anti-money laundering Supervision (OPBAS) and HM Treasury. It sets out work over the last 12 months to help firms make sure their processes are effective and followed properly. That includes action taken against those firms that failed to take their obligations seriously.

A total of 85 firm visits took place, offering guidance on issues such as tax advice (the definition of which was expanded by the regulations this year) with another 168 desk-based reviews taking place. The most common reason for non-compliance with the anti-money laundering regulations was not having a proper risk assessment in place for AML matters, while other issues included poor client due diligence and checks on the source of funds.

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Information technology and the future of legal education: A provocation

This short paper explores, albeit in a preliminary fashion, challenges to legal education arising from the significant impact of new information and communications technologies (ICTs) on law and legal practice. It uses the pervasiveness of ICTs to reframe the question of “law and technology” from a philosophical perspective that sees information technology as an “environmental force”2 that is capable of re-shaping our identity, agency, and social relations, and hence constitutes a significant means through which we make sense of the world.3 The key question the paper poses thus emerges: how should we design the law curriculum when the law-technology relation is itself understood as a critical part of a continuing and profound transformation in what it means to be both a lawyer, and a human being?

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Qualitative research into SMEs’ legal needs and adoption of Lawtech

On behalf of LawtechUK and the Legal Services Board, Community Research conducted qualitative research
with 40 SMEs from different sectors (10 of whom had previously used lawtech) to explore how they address their
legal needs and access legal advice and support, in order to understand how lawtech can better support SMEs.

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Legal Education in Nigeria: A Chronicle of Reforms and Transformation Under Tahir Mamman

Legal Education in Nigeria: A Chronicle of Reforms and Transformation Under Tahir Mamman is a case study of change that tells the story of opportunities to transform legal education.

We can trace the history of legal education to about 1962 when the first indigenous law faculties and the Nigerian Law School were established. In spite of deafening calls for many years for reforms of legal education in Nigeria, not much was done except that the National Universities Commission introduced a uniform law programme in 1990. The calls for reforms continued thereafter.

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Current State of Automated Legal Advice Tools

This paper is the first from the Regulating Automated Legal Advice Technologies (RALAT) project
supported by the University of Melbourne’s Networked Society Institute.

The project focuses on a cutting-edge development in legal technology: the automation of legal advice.
It seeks to understand the practice settings in which Automated Legal Advice Tools (ALATs) are being
adopted, issues regarding their effective management. It also explores the legal, regulatory, and ethical
risks and consequences, and how these will shape access to delivery of legal services.

Discussion Paper co-authored with Judith Bennett, Tim Miller, Rachelle Bosua, Adam Lodders (Melbourne) and Scott Chamberlain (ANU

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Digging into Algorithms: Legal Ethics and Legal Access


The current discussions around algorithms, legal ethics, and expanding legal access through technological tools gravitate around two themes: (1) protection of the integrity of the legal profession and (2) a desire to ensure greater access to legal services. The hype cycle often pits the desire to protect the integrity of the legal profession against the ability to use algorithms to provide greater access to legal services, as though they are mutually exclusive. In reality, the arguments around protecting the profession from the threats posed by algorithms represent an over-fit in relation to what algorithms can actually achieve, while the visions of employing algorithms for access to justice initiatives represent an under-fit in relation to what algorithms could provide. A lack of precision about algorithms results in blunt protections of professional integrity leaving little room for the potential benefits of algorithmic tools. In other words, this incongruence persists because of imprecise understandings and unrealistic characterizations of the algorithmic technologies and how they fit within the broader technology of law itself. This Article provides an initial set of tools for empowering lawyers with a better understanding of, and critical engagement with, algorithms. With the goal of encouraging a more nuanced discussion around the ethical dimensions of using algorithms in legal technology—a discussion that better fits technological reality—the Article argues for lawyers and non-technologists to shift away from evaluating legal technology through a lens of mere algorithms—as though they can be evaluated outside of a specific context—to a focus on understanding algorithmic systems as technology created, manipulated, and used in a particular context. To make this argument, this Article first reviews the current use of algorithms in legal settings, both criminal and civil, reviewing the related literature and regulatory responses. This Article then uses the shortcomings of legal technology lamented by the current literature and the related regulatory responses to demonstrate the importance of shifting our collective paradigm from a consideration of law and algorithms to law and algorithmic systems. Finally, this Article offers a framework for use in assessing algorithmic systems and applies the framework to algorithmic systems employed in the legal context to demonstrate its usefulness in accurately separating true tensions from those that merely reverberate through the hype cycle. In using the framework to reveal areas at the intersection of law and algorithms truly most ripe for progress, this Article concludes with a call to action for more careful design of both legal systems and algorithmic ones.

Reyes, Carla and Ward, Jeff, Digging into Algorithms: Legal Ethics and Legal Access (2020). Nevada Law Journal, Vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 325-377, 2020, SMU Dedman School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 514,