Geneva, June 26, 2023 – Lawyers from 26 countries gathered at the AI Global Forum in Geneva to address the growing impact of Artificial Intelligence on the legal profession. In a significant development, the attendees came together to adopt the “Universal Declaration on the Responsible Use of Artificial Intelligence in the Legal Profession.”
The declaration was based on the consensus that AI, like many new technologies, has the potential to reshape the legal landscape, and it is the collective responsibility of legal professionals to steer this transformation for the betterment of society. With a commitment to uphold the interests of justice, the lawyers aimed to create a world that fosters equal access to legal services while promoting diversity, trust, and mutual respect among all individuals, irrespective of their differences.
Importantly, the lawyers emphasized that AI should serve as a tool to support human decision-making, not replace it. They reaffirmed their belief that all laws and decisions must be made by human beings, with AI subject to robust regulations ensuring the preservation of the human factor in the decision-making process.
Drawing inspiration from the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and various ethical guidelines, including the UNESCO Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence and the European Ethical Charter on AI in judicial systems, the declaration demonstrated a commitment to aligning AI advancements with universal values and ethical standards.
The legal professionals expressed a strong desire to make AI-based legal services accessible to everyone, even advocating for the possibility of AI programs being made available free of charge, or through compulsory licensing systems akin to those used in the pharmaceutical industry.
The declaration underscored the importance of accountability and transparency in AI usage within the legal profession. Lawyers pledged to identify and disclose any AI involvement in the preparation of legal documents and to thoroughly evaluate and verify AI-generated content before using it in litigation or alternative dispute resolution proceedings.
To safeguard privacy rights, the lawyers committed to handle client data responsibly and ensure that AI programs used in their practice comply with privacy regulations and do not perpetuate discrimination or bias.
The declaration emphasized the significance of ongoing education and collaboration across borders to ensure the responsible and equitable use of AI in the legal profession. It acknowledged that AI adoption might lead to job redundancies, but the lawyers vowed to provide appropriate training and alternative opportunities for their employees.
The Universal Declaration on the Responsible Use of Artificial Intelligence in the Legal Profession stands as a testament to the legal community’s commitment to embracing AI responsibly and ethically, while prioritizing the well-being of humanity and justice.’