The Volokh Conspiracy

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Volokh Conspiracy

France Takes Aim Against Legal Analytics


According to a story in the Artificial Lawyer [here], France has enacted a new law that will criminalize the "reuse" ("reutilisation") of the "identity data of magistrates and members of the judiciary"("Les données d'identité des magistrats et des membres du greffe") for the purpose of "evaluating, analysing, comparing or predicting their actual or alleged professional practices" ("pour objet ou pour effet d'évaluer, d'analyser, de comparer ou de prédire leurs pratiques professionnelles réelles ou supposées").  [The French version can be found here]

The target, apparently, are companies offering legal analytics and modeling services designed to find patterns in the decisions of particular magistrates and to predict their future decision-making performance, which have sprung up in the wake of the French government's (laudable) efforts to make all case law publicly-accessible online. [A good example of the Doctrine of Unanticipated Consequences]

I have no idea whether this law will be challenged, nor what the grounds for such a challenge might be under French law (though it is I think quite clear that such a law would be very difficult to sustain against a First Amendment challenge here in the U.S.).