08 Dec 2023
by Charlotte Halis

Smart Solutions for Smarter Justice

Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and automation are enabling some of the most radical changes to our lives.  

The Criminal Justice System needs to prepare for these changes to give citizens the service they expect, while reaping the operational efficiency benefits they can bring.  

AI and machine learning technology will enable faster, more efficient legal processes and be pivotal in reducing the current backlogs.  

Court processes and sentencing decisions will be simpler and streamlined, while justice and legal professionals will be more efficient, ensuring faster, smarter justice. 

Considering that, here are eight digital enhancements that can help achieve a smarter justice system. 

1. Guidance and advice 

Laws, sentencing guidelines and previous outcomes can be learned by AI, which can then propose approaches and potential outcomes. By overlaying an understanding of the demographics of the prosecution and defence, it’s possible to explore and account for biases.  

2. Analysing large amounts of evidence 

AI technologies can search and summarise disclosed documents, enabling legal teams to find information quicker, and removing the need to review and identify correlations in masses of data. 

3. Predicting case outcomes 

AI can analyse previous cases and the success rates of their associated legal teams. It can then provide tools to identify the likelihood of an outcome and the most appropriate team to allocate to the case.   

4. Case building 

The existing Common Platform already provides controlled access to evidence, ensuring it can be seen by relevant people. By extending the platform to support AI plug-ins, software can gain access to relevant and appropriate information in a controlled way.  

5. Risk evaluation 

AI algorithms can look at defendants’ history and determine the likelihood of them reoffending or absconding. These outputs can help with bail, sentencing and parole decisions, as well as how they may be managed by The Probation Service.  

6. Taking notes 

Audio and video recognition in court can automatically record far more detailed session notes than a human stenographer could. The technology can recognise sentiment, movement and tone of voice, then transcribe additional notes. 

7. Creation of documents and guidance 

AI chatbots can draft legal documents such as contracts and agreements. They can also parse, analyse, and summarise large volumes of legal research.  

8. Speeding up decisions  

AI can provide legal guidance to judges and magistrates, reducing the input needed from legal experts. It can summarise evidence and provide an overview of relevant prosecutions and legal findings, leading to quicker decision-making, deliberation and summing up


It starts with infrastructure 

The benefits AI can bring to our courts are significant, but this is a future we need to prepare for.  

We must design new processes and legal models with AI in mind. We need to build solutions that are agile and scalable to support this world. Run experiments, build prototypes, speak to citizens and employees. 

The most important thing is to have the IT foundations in place that can exploit the technology as it becomes available. The amount of digital evidence and data that needs to be securely stored, accessed and shared is colossal. 

Bringing in new tech doesn’t work if your network can’t cope. Similarly, doing incremental upgrades isn’t optimal. It’s impossible to innovate without your core infrastructure, network, and connectivity being up to scratch. 


A seamless flow of information 

The ideal is to take a holistic view of the Criminal Justice System. If each department works in silo upgrading their own technology, the likelihood is the process won’t be integrated. 

If we make sure there's solid core infrastructure everywhere, from police forces to CPS to courts and probation, we can implement better digital solutions at every stage of the justice system.  

This will also enable a consistent, seamless, and integrated flow of information throughout the whole legal process, where everyone has access to the data they need to make informed decisions. 

Less paperwork. Assisted decision making. More efficiency. Smarter justice. 



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Charlotte Halis

Charlotte Halis

UK Justice & Policing Lead, Virgin Media