Algorithms In The Courtroom










Dehumanizing the judiciary: synthetic judges
Learn about the future of the legal system. Be inspired!


Course Description

The process of automating the legal system is well underway in much of the developed world. Yet, if we dehumanize our judiciary, we are basically placing the gavel in the hands of algorithms. We will be judged by what is often referred to as a black box.

In this module, you will get a peek inside that black box, and behind the scenes of these user-friendly legal tools that are coming to market right now.

The first part of the course addresses basic questions about artificial intelligence and debunks common misconceptions. The second part focuses on the implications of artificial intelligence in the courtroom.

Artificial Intelligence In A Nutshell

  • What Is An Algorithm?
  • What Is The Relation Between Algorithms, Machine Learning And Artificial Intelligence (AI)?
  • Is Artificial Intelligence The Same Thing As Machine Learning?
  • Does AI Work Like The Human Brain?
  • Can Intelligent Machines Learn On Their Own?
  • Can Intelligent Machines Be Creative?
  • Supervised Learning Versus Unsupervised Learning.
  • Will Super Intelligent Machines Surpass Humans?

Artificial intelligence: risks and Unintended Outcomes

  • Can Algorithms Go Rogue?
  • The Challenge of Specification Gaming: Playing The System.
  • Instrumental Conversion: Unintentional Harm To Humans?

We also address crucial issues, such as:

Machine Learning And Ethics

  • Can Algorithms Abide By Ethical Principles?

Recidivism Risk Assessment Tools

  • How Do Risk Assessment Algorithms Work?
  • Legal Tools And Algorithmic Bias
  • What Causes Algorithmic Bias?
  • Machine Learning And Physiognomy: Can Facial Recognition Tools Discover Inherent Criminality?

Algorithmic Black Boxes And The Law

  • What Are Algorithmic Black Boxes?
  • Technological Black Boxes.
  • Legal Black Boxes.

Proprietary Legal Tools

  • Proprietary Versus Open Source Software: The Basics Explained.
  • Are There Alternatives To Proprietary Legal Tools?
  • Alternative Business Models Legal Tools.

The Future Of The Legal System: Where Are We Heading?

  • Will Algorithmic Tools Replace Legal Professionals


  • Lecture, quizzes, and 5 hours of content!
  • Practical assignment at the end of every session.
  • Practical learning experience with many real-live examples.
  • Complimentary book and video recommendations for a deeper dive.

Course content is designed by considering current state of technology and the job market.

Although the course covers global developments, we focus on the US and Europe.

Who can take this course

This compact course is meant for:

  • Legal professionals who wish to enhance their knowledge of relevant technology.
  • Concerned citizens who want to understand the future of our legal system and broaden their horizons.

Suitable for both beginners and intermediate level students.


  • Instructor Q&A
  • Certificate of completion

Learning Outcomes

This is the moment in time that decisions are made that will determine the future of our legal system. After you’ve finished this course:

  • You will understand the most pressing issues surrounding legal algorithms.
  • You will be able to form your own opinion about these issues.
  • You will also be able to explain the main issues to others.

Upcoming Courses


The compact explainers simplify complex phenomena and concepts of the digital age.

They zoom in on the core of issues – with the option to go more in-depth in the courses of NEXT Institute.