Time: Thu Jul 03 17:13:51 1997
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Date: Thu, 03 Jul 1997 17:00:05 -0700
To: (Recipient list suppressed)
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: SLS: judges & computers (fwd)

the solution is to put powerful computers
into the hands of people who understand
the application of fundamental principles

THAT is the solution and

THAT is one of the goals of the Supreme Law School

/s/ Paul Mitchell

At 04:49 PM 7/3/97 -0700, you wrote:
>->  SearchNet's   SNETNEWS   Mailing List
>When I visited Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska ca. 1990 to investigate a case 
>which subsequently became "The Franklin Coverup" (title of book by 
>lawyer, John DeCamp from Nebraska) I noticed there were Computer Kiosks 
>in the Shopping Malls. They served as visitor guides re serves, maps etc. 
>I think we should have a plain language law code on Public Computer 
>Kiosks like this in all Ftr_Cities.
>On Thu, 3 Jul 1997, Ricardo Guibourg wrote:
>> 	Claire Hill has made some interesting questions.
>> In what respects might computers do a better job than judges?
>> 	When we know exactly how to make a decision, no matter how much
complicated it is, a computer can apply the criteria and find a solution in
a faster, cheaper and transparent way.
>> In what respects would they do a worse job?
>> 	When we do not know exactly how to do what we can do, we depend on
implicit, hidden, changing or unknown criteria. Computers would be lost in
that jungle.
>> How would we program the computers?
>> 	We would have to find out our actual criteria and make them explicit.
That is the difficult part of the work. The rest is only a complicated and
specialized routine.
>> How could they learn from "experience"?
>> 	Please, do not let them do that for a while! The fact that computers
need an explicit programming is an advantage. Legal reasoning is currently
subject to pre-scientific practices, where anyone feels he/she may say
anything on any grounds. We do not agree each other on the nature of law
(rules, facts, values), on the method of legal practice, on the status of
legal knowledge (science, art, mere ideology) or even on the political bias
of legal discourse. All this mess is hidden by a traditional language which
tends to present the personal interest as a clear and plain normative
truth. If computers were so perfect to learn as human beings, they would be
taught at the University through the old methods. And the result would be a
race of cybernetic tyrants. The right way is to use this time (while we
still have it) to make clearer our human reasoning, and then to teach the
computers with our criteria. Of course, in the process those criteria would
be compared with each other, their incompatibilities would show up and
many, many decisions would have to be taken, often painfully. This is the
very (scientific, philosophical and political) advantage of legal
informatics: more than collaborate with human decisions, to oblige human
beings to know and to assume their own decisions, in a public way.
>> How are the considerations different in civil versus common law countries?
>> 	I believe those considerations are different only if we expect the
computers to act like human lawyers. The difference between civil law and
common law is but on the surface of the method. In any case it is necessary
to isolate some criteria (by interpretation of law or by induction from
precedents) and to draw a practical way to apply them to future cases. This
set of decisions and knowledge may be in the conscience of a jurist or, if
it is clear enough, in the program of a computer.
>> Ricardo A. Guibourg
>> Professor of Law Philosophy
>> University of Buenos Aires
>DISCUSSION GROUPS: Send one word, subscribe, in an email body to
>Ftr_Cities-request@websightz.com and/or CONSTITUTION-request@websightz.com.
>-> Send "subscribe   snetnews " to majordomo@world.std.com
>->  Posted by: Franklin Wayne Poley <fwpoley@vcn.bc.ca>

Paul Andrew Mitchell                 : Counselor at Law, federal witness
B.A., Political Science, UCLA;  M.S., Public Administration, U.C. Irvine

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