The Judicial Function and the Rule of Law as Limiting Factors in the Use of AI for Legal Interpretation

The response necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic has affected a cultural shift to the use of digital technology in the courtroom. This increased use of digital justice technologies invites consideration of just how far such usage can go before we come up against hard boundaries inherent in the judicial function and the rule of law.
It is at the point where AI and algorithmic decision-making seek to play a role in authoritative legal interpretation that such concerns become acute. While such technologies promise consistency and efficiency, such use is antithetical to our existing conceptions of the separation of powers in a modern liberal democracy. The revelation of this inconsistency is challenged by persistent myths of legal formalism and legalism, which continue to promise the possibility of legal objectivity. Confronting the limits of the proper use of technology demands that we be honest about the proper nature of judicial decision-making and the discursive nature of law itself.