Turkey’s judicial system is set to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) into certain legal functions, including drafting reasoned opinions and generating reports, according to Mehmet Akarca, the chairman of Turkey’s Supreme Court of Appeals, the Hürriyet news website reported on Sunday.
The move was announced during the opening ceremony of the new judicial year in Turkey’s capital of Ankara.
Akarca revealed that a virtual center, powered by AI, has already been established by the appeals court to disseminate precedents, which play a crucial role in Turkey’s legal system by providing guidance to local courts on litigation and interpreting ambiguous parts of laws.
The chairman said the AI system operates solely through the court’s servers to prevent external interference. He also noted that efforts were underway to implement AI for writing reasoned opinions and reports and highlighted its potential to contribute to various aspects of the judicial process, including workload distribution, case assignment and employee performance evaluation.
The use of AI in the legal domain has raised concerns globally, prompting discussions about the need for oversight and regulation. In some countries, such as Canada, there are debates over the integration of AI in litigation and administrative law, with experts warning of potential risks and the need for proper guidelines. The delegation of decision-making authority to AI systems and the potential for AI-generated errors that could impact the administration of justice are critical points of consideration.
The Turkish judiciary already faces criticism for its perceived lack of independence. Critics accuse Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of exerting control over the judiciary.
Erdoğan is accused of establishing one-man rule in the country, particularly after a coup attempt in 2016, following which he launched a massive crackdown on non-loyalist citizens and the country’s subsequent transition to a presidential system of governance, which granted him vast powers.
Many say there is no longer a separation of powers in the country and that members of the judiciary are under the absolute control of the government and cannot make judgments based on law.