Home 5 Evenemang 5 AI Judges – At the Mercy of Machines

AI Judges – At the Mercy of Machines

Time: 4 October 2022, 10:00–12:00
Place: Zoom or the Department of Law, Stockholm University
To register, send an e-mail to

Welcome to a hybrid seminar, organized by the DHV-hub. By examining the past and anticipating the future, Jørn Øyrehagen Sunde and John Lagström will reflect on the extent to which AI judges will be part of a future legal landscape. 

As society becomes more digitalized, many of the decision-making processes traditionally performed by human beings are being transferred to computer systems displaying varying degrees of artificial intelligence (AI). For some time now, algorithms have been making decisions and choices on our behalf, e.g. what music we listen to, what content we read, what jobs we should be offered, who will make a good partner and whether we should be granted credit or not. 

However, as the mathematical algorithms driving these systems become more complex and have more data at their disposal, they are starting to be utilized in more sensitive contexts and that have a legal nature. Assigned the popular label ‘robots’, these black box systems are being used to assist in sentencing in criminal cases, they are deciding administrative law matters concerning access to social benefits and taxation responsibilities and, in some cases, even adjudicating civil cases. 

These developments are challenging traditional legal ideals and principles and invoke philosophical considerations:
What role should equity and fairness play in the judging process?
Are criminal suspects being treated as guilty until proven innocent?
Are fundamental human rights being eroded?
Is it ethically acceptable to be judged by a machine?
Should these black boxes not be transparent?
And how are issues of bias being addressed? 

These issues and many more will be addressed at this seminar. Our invited guests will assist us in identifying and understanding the complexities of the issues as well as help us predict future developments. We are delighted to present Jørn Øyrehagen Sunde and John Lagström as our two speakers. Welcome!

Please register your attendance with Stanley Greenstein, who will also moderate the seminar, by 2 October and indicate if you are attending physically or via zoom. The zoom link will be provided via e-mail on 3 October. Physically, we will be in the faculty room, Department of Law, 8th floor, House C, Frescati campus, Stockholm University 



Jørn Øyrehagen Sunde received his doctoral degree in 2007, and became professor in Legal History the same year at the Faculty of Law at the University of Bergen. From 2019 he is professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of Oslo, from the same year he also holds a position as researcher at the Norwegian National Library. Since 2014, Jørn has headed the Code of 1274-project on legislation and governance in the Middle Ages, and from 2019 he is in the troika heading the project on the History of Norwegian policing. Jørn has authored five and edited twelve books and will provide a historical perspective to the relationship between humans and technology from the legal context and with a special focus on AI.  He will be presenting in person.

John Lagström works as an Innovation Leader at the Swedish National Courts Administration (Domstolsverket) where amongst other things he explores different applications of AI in the Swedish courts, often finding and exploring the interaction between humans and machines and the implications it has on the rule of law. John will share findings and questions that arise when applying AI in real situations and where he thinks we’re headed in the future. He will be presenting via Zoom.


Foto: Magnus Hjalmarsson/Uppsala universitet.

Photo: Andrey Popov/Mostphotos.