Skip to Main Content

Selected Online Reading on Artificial Intelligence and Law

Find a list of selected books, electronic books and articles, online databases, newswires and training sessions to enhance your knowledge from home.

Regulation of AI

Abstract by the author: This paper adds to the discussion on the legal personhood of artificial intelligence by focusing on one area not covered by previous works on the subject – ownership of property. The paper explains the prevailing misconceptions about the requirements of rights or duties in legal personhood, and discusses the potential for conferring rights or imposing obligations on weak and strong AI. The paper discusses the right to own property and the obligations of property ownership in nonhumans, and applying it to AI. The paper concludes that the law may grant property ownership and legal personhood to weak AI, but not to strong AI.


Abstract by the author: Reflects on how the use of autonomous vehicles should be regulated, looking at the current laws regulating the driving of motor vehicles, the regulation of automated guided transport systems, the use of safety-critical software, the current risk-based approach, and the timescale for adopting effective regulatory measures.


Abstract by the author: The advent of sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) agents, or bots, raises the question: How do we ensure that these bots act appropriately? Within a decade, AI will be ubiquitous, with billions of active bots influencing nearly every industry and daily activity. Given the extensiveness of AI activity, it will be nearly impossible to explicitly program bots with detailed instructions on permitted and prohibited actions, particularly as they face unpredictable, novel situations. Rather, if risks to humans are to be mitigated, bots must have some overriding moral or legal compass--a set of "AI Laws"--to allow them to adapt to whatever scenarios they face.

AI & international law

Abstract by the author: This study uses nearly one million Tweets from eight campaigns targeting seven countries to explore the relationship between social media and domestic legal change, specifically in the area of women’s rights. The study focuses on quantifying contextual, independent (online behaviours), and dependent (legal change) variables in order to model the effectiveness of the campaigns. Using the space of social media presents a wide range of opportunities as well as threats. It may be that these campaigns are indeed leading to the change sought after by domestic women and girls, and that, as many posit, the weight of the international attention leads to positive outcomes. Equally, it may be that the campaigns are ineffective or, worse, lead to harmful government backlashes. This research seeks to understand these outcomes in depth, using empirical data to model the effectiveness of campaigns. 


Abstract by the author: This paper critically examines the allocation of liability when autonomous artificial intelligence (AI) systems cause accidents. Problems of applying existing principles of legal liability in AI environment are addressed. This paper argues that the sharing of risk as a basis for proportionate liability should be a basis for a new liability regime to govern future autonomous machines. It is argued that this approach favors the reality of parties’ consent to taking the risk of unpredictable AI behavior over the technicality of existing principles of legal liability. The suggested approach encourages transparency and responsible decisions of developers and owners of AI systems. The paper also discusses the need for harmonization of national laws and international cooperation regarding AI incidents crossing national borders to ensure predictability of legal rules governing the liability ensuing from AI applications.


Abstract by the author: Within the coming decade, the deployment of artificial intelligence ('AI') appears likely to have a disruptive impact on global affairs. What will such 'globally disruptive' AI imply for the form, function and viability of international law? I briefly sketch the long history of technological innovation driving, shaping and destroying international law. Drawing on scholarship on the relation between new technologies and international law, I argue that new technology changes legal situations both directly, by creating new entities or enabling new behaviour, and indirectly, by shifting incentives or values. I argue that development of increasingly more disruptive AI may produce three types of global legal impacts. The first is 'legal development' (patching); the second is 'legal displacement' (substitution); the third is 'legal destruction' (erosion). I discuss the potential impact of AI in all three modalities, and the implications for international relations. I argue that many of the challenges raised by AI could in principle be accommodated in the international law system through legal development, and that while AI may aid in compliance enforcement, the prospects for legal displacement - a shift towards an 'automated international law' - look slim. However, I also conclude that technical and political features of the technology will in practice render AI destructive to key areas of international law: the legal gaps it creates will be hard to patch, and the strategic capabilities it offers chip away at the rationales for powerful states to engage fully in, or comply with, international law regimes. This suggests some risk of obsolescence of distinct international law regimes.


Abstract by the authors: Law reacts to the progression of scientific technology in the end. Though conservative, changes are beginning to take place due to Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI is automating conventional legal works, creating a new industry namely Legal-Tech. This paper investigates the characteristics and flow of legal-AI and computational law while focusing on the applicability of AI to international law. Mainly, the paper reviews three critical areas: dispute resolution, trial prediction, and machine translation, respectively. International law has different characteristics than the domestic law applied in each country. Unlike domestic law, international law has not been aggregated from a pandect, and it is a still daunting task to draw any meaningful insights for further analysis due mainly to limited data (i.e., trial cases and precedents). Nevertheless, AI is already penetrating the legal ecology system, and international law would eventually accept the influx of such changes exhibiting greater force.


Abstract by the authors: Argues that virtual personal assistants may reproduce negative gender stereotypes concerning the role of women and the type of work they perform, and considers whether this could be classed as indirect discrimination under international human rights law.

AI and human rights

Abstract by the author: The increasing presence of artificial intelligence creates enormous challenges for human rights. Among the short-term challenges are ways in which technology engages just about all rights on the UDHR, as exemplified through use of effectively discriminatory algorithms. Medium-term challenges include changes in the nature of work that could call into question many people's status as participants in society. In the long-term humans may have to live with machines that are intellectually and possibly morally superior, even though this is highly speculative. Artificial intelligence also gives a new relevance to moral debates that used to strike many as arcane.


  • Next Generation Privacy; Adekemi Omotubora & Subhajit Basu; Information & Communications Technology Law; 2020; Vol. 29(2); pp. 151-173

Abstract by the author: In recent years, research within and outside the European Union (EU) has focused on the expanding scope of personal data. The analysis provided has primarily supported the conclusions that in time, personal data will become so ubiquitous that the EU data protection law would become meaningless, unreasonable, or even discredited and ignored. The objective of this article is to analyse the concept of personal data under EU law and to explore its continued relevance within a data protection framework that is rapidly globalised and in which technology is continuously evolving. The article argues that far from reflecting a universal notion of data protection, the EU law and particularly its definition of personal data reflects a perception of privacy that is peculiarly European. It further argues that recent developments in technology call for a re-examination of the concept of personal data and a more critical approach by countries with nascent data protection regimes. The article proposes the ‘objective risk of contextual harm’ as a new approach for formulating an alternative definition of personal data. It concludes that this approach better articulates the construction of data protection as a social good and a mechanism for (consumer) protection.

AI in the legal profession

Abstract by the authors: The authors suggest that the role of technology in access to justice is much greater than simply a digitization of long-standing practices. Rather, technological innovations in the legal field provide to improve access to legal representation and to refine court processes. Non-state initiatives, such as MyOpenCourt, can help alleviate the gaps in access to justice. Long term, the authors suggest that using direct-to-public (DTP) tools, such as legal assistance systems powered by artificial intelligence (AI), can help push toward their vision of a consistent global system of online dispute resolution. However, the use of DTP tools also raises concerns regarding privacy, security, and the unauthorized practice of law.


  • Scalable and explainable legal prediction; L. Karl Branting, Craig Pfeifer, Bradford Brown, Lisa Ferro, John Aberdeen, Brandy Weiss, Mark Pfaff & Bill Liao; Artificial Intelligence and Law; 2021; Vol. 29; pp. 213-238

Abstract by the authors: Legal decision-support systems have the potential to improve access to justice, administrative efficiency, and judicial consistency, but broad adoption of such systems is contingent on development of technologies with low knowledge-engineering, validation, and maintenance costs. This paper describes two approaches to an important form of legal decision support—explainable outcome prediction—that obviate both annotation of an entire decision corpus and manual processing of new cases. 


Abstract by the authors: Legal expert systems are computer applications that can mimic the consultation process of a legal expert to provide advice specific to a given scenario. The core of these systems is the experts’ knowledge captured in a sophisticated and often complex logic or rule base. Such complex systems rely on both knowledge engineers or system programmers and domain experts to maintain and update in response to changes in law or circumstances. This paper describes a pragmatic approach using process modelling techniques that enables a complex legal expert system to be maintained and updated dynamically by a domain expert such as a legal practitioner with little computing knowledge. The approach is illustrated using a case study on the design of an online expert system that allows a user to navigate through complex legal options in the domain of International Family Law.


Introduction by the author: Much has been written recently about artificial intelligence (AI) and law. But what is Al, and what is its relation to the practice and administration of law? This article addresses those questions by providing a high-level overview of Al and its use within law. The discussion aims to be nuanced but also understandable to those without a technical background. To that end, I first discuss Al generally. I then turn to Al and how it is being used by lawyers in the practice of law, people and companies who are governed by the law, and government officials who administer the law.

Data Protection Notice   Cookie Policy & Inventory
Library Catalogue
Journals on all devices
Books, articles, EPRS publications & more
Newspapers on all devices