Chinese courts must implement AI system by 2025
Chinese courts are required to develop a competent artificial intelligence system by 2025 to provide all-round AI support in efforts to improve legal services and uphold justice.
The requirement and goal were imbedded in the Opinions on Regulating and Strengthening the Application of Artificial Intelligence in Judicial Fields, a guideline issued on Friday by the Supreme People's Court, China's top court.
The document also calls for Chinese courts to set up an application and theoretical system for AI utilization in judicial fields and improve rules by 2030 to ensure the technology can support the whole judiciary process.
The top court said that by issuing the guideline, it aims to promote the in-depth integration of AI with judicial work, strengthen the construction of smart courts and strive to achieve a higher level of digital justice.
In the legal document, the court highlights the legality of applying AI in judicial fields and the security the technology will offer. It stipulated that the technological promotion and application must not damage national security, infringe upon state secrets or violate personal data security.
It also underscores that rulings must always be made by judges, meaning that AI cannot replace courts in deciding cases. It clarifies that results from using the technology can serve as supplemental references in judicial supervision and management.
The top court said on Friday that strengthening AI application in judicial fields will not only help judges lessen the burden of dealing with trivial matters to improve their work efficiency, but will also give the public easier access to legal resources to solve their disputes more effectively.
In addition, the AI application will automatically recognize irregularities in case handlings to regulate judicial behavior, it added.
Over the past decade, courts nationwide have become "smarter" by stepping up efforts in the application of advanced technologies.
Statistics from the top court showed in October that more than 90,000 mediation institutions and over 350,000 mediators had joined a platform designed by the top court to help litigants solve disputes online by September.
Thanks to that effort, litigants do not need to travel to courts to submit materials, file cases or attend trials. Last year, for example, Chinese courts filed more than 11.43 million cases online, the statistic added.
But Xu Jianfeng, director of the SPC's information center, said in October that courts nationwide should further guarantee the security of legal and personal data while providing more convenience for residents seeking judicial services.