Artificial Intelligence in law | CCBE comments on a white paper by the European Commission

The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) responded to a white paper by the European Commission on artificial intelligence (AI) that was consulted.

The organisation is concerned that questionnaire of the Commission has not been tailored to specific sectors and use cases, and did not offer respondents the opportunity to indicate per question from which perspective the reply is given. Many of the questions were leading questions offering only a closed set of options as a result of which it is impossible to express a meaningful opinion.

The CCBE has limited the scope of its response to mainly aspects related to the rule of law, administration of justice and fundamental rights and has addressed certain liability issues as well as training needs for lawyers and law firms regarding the use of AI in legal practice.

Their response includes comments on an ecosystem of trust that is needed:

o Artificial intelligence and human rights: virtually all human rights can be affected by the use of AI systems. Various actions are therefore needed, amongst which: thorough assessments of the effect of AI systems; independent and expert scrutiny; transparency on the use of AI; ensuring the availability of remedies; new legal frameworks to codify the principles and requirements governing the use of AI, in conjunction with voluntary ethics codes committing AI developers to act responsibly.

o As an alternative to the proposed risk-based approach, the CCBE calls for a more targeted approach which sets legal requirements tailored to the needs of the specific sectors and circumstances after a more detailed evaluation of risks and assessment of legal or other appropriate measures.

o The use of AI by courts and in criminal justice systems is a high risk as it undermines many of the foundations on which justice is based. Any deployment of such tools should therefore be preceded by in-depth evaluation and impact assessments with the involvement of all relevant actors and stakeholders and be strictly regulated taking into account the procedural architecture underpinning judicial proceedings. In any case, a right to a human judge should be guaranteed at any stage of the proceedings.

o A combination of ex-ante compliance and ex-post enforcement mechanisms is needed on the basis of a set of mandatory requirements.


More information:
CCBE Response (pdf) to the consultation on the European Commission’s White Paper on Artificial Intelligence of 5 June 2020


Addition 16 June 2020
CNUE, the European organisation of notaries also commented on AI. Read also the KNB article, CNUE: ‘Kunstmatige intelligentie mag het vak notaris niet verstoren’ (Dutch).

Over Ellen Timmer, advocaat ondernemingsrecht @Pellicaan

Verbonden aan Pellicaan Advocaten,, kantoor Rotterdam, telefoon 088-6272287, fax 088-6272280, e-mail ||| Weblogs: algemeen: || modernisering ondernemingsrecht: ||| Motto: goede bedoelingen rechtvaardigen geen slechte regels
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