Richard Susskind appointed Special Envoy for Justice and AI

Prof Susskind to Lead Equal Access to Justice Drive

The Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC, has appointed Professor Richard Susskind OBE KC (Hon) as her Special Envoy for Justice and Artificial Intelligence. This prestigious appointment reflects Prof Susskind's significant contributions to the legal sector and his pioneering work integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into legal services.

Prof Susskind is recognised as the most cited author on the future of legal services. He has been at the forefront of AI and law since the 1980s and served as the Technology Adviser to the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales from 1998 to 2023. As President of the Society for Computers and Law, Prof Susskind brings decades of expertise and visionary leadership to his new role.

Equal Access to Justice by 2030

As Special Envoy, Prof Susskind will support the 56 Commonwealth countries in achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16, which ensures equal access to justice for all by 2030. His mandate includes leveraging AI to enhance the efficiency, transparency, and accessibility of justice systems across the Commonwealth.

Announcing the appointment, Secretary-General Patricia Scotland emphasised the urgent need for innovative solutions to advance SDG 16.

“We know that the progress towards SDG 16 is not on track. Artificial intelligence, when harnessed properly, can be a powerful tool to get us back on track. Prof Susskind’s record of engagement in justice and artificial intelligence makes him eminently suited to drive the Commonwealth’s Equal Access to Justice Declaration in line with SDG 16.”

“Armed with his talent, we will be able to offer far more comprehensive support to our countries as they accelerate justice transformation, which is urgently needed to bring justice within reach for all.”

Prof Susskind expressed his enthusiasm for the role, stating, “I am immensely honoured to be appointed Special Envoy for Justice and Artificial Intelligence and to help the 56 Commonwealth countries ensure equal access to justice for all by 2030. This comes at an ideal time—remarkable recent developments in AI will transform the way that people can understand and enforce their legal rights.”

Plan for Artificial Intelligence Integration

His work will focus on applying AI to transform various aspects of the legal sector, including courts, justice delivery, public legal education, and the daily operations of lawyers. Prof Susskind's approach will involve engaging with various stakeholders across jurisdictions to understand current technological use and plan strategically for AI integration.

As a visionary leader in legal technology, Prof Susskind joins seven other distinguished individuals serving as the Secretary-General’s special envoys and champions, each dedicated to advancing critical global initiatives.

About Professor Richard Susskind OBE KC (Hon)

Susskind has profoundly influenced the legal profession. His expertise centres on the future of professional services and the transformative impact of AI and technology on legal work. Susskind's contributions are vast, with advisory roles to top professional firms, in-house legal departments, governments, and judiciaries worldwide.

He completed his doctorate in AI and law at Balliol College, Oxford, in the 1980s. His prolific writing includes 10 books translated into 18 languages and over 150 columns for The Times newspaper. Honoured as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2000, he was appointed an Honorary King's Counsel in 2022.

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