Patrick Bracher

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Chinese court gets robot assistant

China’s Supreme People’s Court has employed Faxin, a legal-services robot, which assists judges in sifting through reports and identifying laws relevant to cases. Faxin is an artificial intelligence (AI) platform aimed at transforming China’s overburdened legal system. Faxin is not the only such product currently being used in China. FaXiaoTao, a chat bot, matches clients … Continue reading

AI goes to law school (China)

Concerned with the influence of technology in practicing law, Peking University Law School is looking to bring artificial intelligence (AI) into curriculums by establishing a new AI research centre. Peking University Law School is partnering with a cloud-based analytical tool Gridsum to launch the research centre which will focus on the possibilities and opportunities of … Continue reading

Ontario AI legal challenge showcases latest AI legal developments

The Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General and the Legal Innovation Zone launched an artificial intelligence (AI) legal challenge to encourage law firms to use technology companies that apply AI to legal applications. The six finalists each provide a unique approach using AI to solve legal problems in one way or another. Their work also … Continue reading

What are ‘reasonable endeavours’ to fulfil conditions ‘as soon as reasonably practicable’ (UK)

The court was called upon to decide whether the defendant property developer had used ‘reasonable endeavours’ to achieve ‘as soon as reasonably practicable’ the satisfaction of contractual conditions, upon the non-fulfilment of which the developer became obliged to make a payment of £1.4 million. The term ‘reasonable endeavours’ may require a party to take only one … Continue reading

UK chief executive fined £1.15 million over trust funds

The UK Financial Conduct Authority has fined One Call Insurance Services Ltd and its chief executive £1.15 million for failing to protect its clients’ money and to hold it in trust instead of using it to cover its own financial needs. The insurer allegedly ‘inadvertently’ used funds from its clients’ money account to finance its own … Continue reading

Amazon not liable for online sale (US)

A US court found that Amazon is not liable for selling a defective lamp that started a house fire. Amazon’s only connection with the lamp was allowing it to be advertised on its website and stored in its warehouse and it processed the transaction. Amazon compared itself to a mall owner. Ownership of the lamp … Continue reading

Free movement of algorithms (EU)

Freedom of establishment, one of the four freedoms of the European Union single market, will allow artificial intelligence (AI) with legal personality to move freely and be recognised within the EU single market. In a research paper published in Switzerland, it is argued that AI that enjoys legal personality under a member state’s national law … Continue reading

Will your next lawyer be a machine?

As with any other professional, artificial intelligence (AI) has lawyers wondering how it will disrupt their profession. Unlike the lift operator, AI is not set to replace lawyers, but rather to increase performance and enhance service delivered to clients. In two separate experiments that took place in the EU and USA, researches applied AI technology … Continue reading

Insurance Act assented by State President

On 18 January 2018, the Insurance Act was published in the Government Gazette after it had been assented to by the State President. It is known as the Insurance Act 2017. The Insurance Act, which was tabled in the National Assembly in January 2016 and completed its journey through the parliamentary process in December 2017, … Continue reading

What happened to policy data administration services?

A previous draft of the Short-term Insurance Regulations included policy data administrative services (PDAS) as a service attracting remuneration of 2% of premium. This was left out of the final regulations. According to the National Treasury Key Issues document ‘It has been decided, at this stage, to maintain the status quo by not classifying PDAS … Continue reading

Revamped international arbitration legislation enacted by Parliament

In late December 2017, Parliament enacted the long-awaited International Arbitration Act which brings about an overhaul of the international arbitration framework. The Act commenced on 20 December 2017. The new Arbitration Act regulates international arbitration proceedings in South Africa and governs the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards. The Act, which incorporates the Model Law on … Continue reading

Amended long-term insurance regulations

The amendments to the Long-term Insurance Regulations gazetted on 15 December 2017 became effective on 1 January 2018 with some later effective dates below. The corresponding amendments to section 49 of the Long-term Insurance Act 1998 (LTIA) also take effect on 1 January 2018. The changes to the Long-term Insurance Act Regulations include changes to the remuneration and practices … Continue reading

Amended short-term insurance regulations

The amendments to the Short-term Insurance Regulations gazetted on 15 December 2017 became effective on 1 January 2018 with some later effective dates below. Corresponding amendments required to the Short-term Insurance Act 1998 (STIA) also take effect on 1 January 2018. The majority of the changes to the Short-term Insurance Act Regulations relate to the circumstances in which … Continue reading

UK Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill

The UK has published the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill. If an accident is caused by an automated vehicle when driving itself whilst insured at the time it causes anyone to suffer damages, then the insurer is liable for that damage caused to anyone. If the vehicle is not insured the owner of the vehicle … Continue reading

IAIS calls for simple insurance products

It has been reported (Law360) that the International Association of Insurance Supervisors has urged governments to make sure that insurers selling basic cover to the world’s poorest communities keep their products simple to prevent misselling and to avoid excessive costs. According to the IAIS ‘inclusive insurance products and their distribution need to be easily understood … Continue reading

Robo-directors in the boardroom

Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly developing and may in the future get a seat at the boardroom table. The ability of AI to fulfil certain tasks, such as data collection and processing, at a pace exponentially faster than its human counterparts means that businesses cannot function properly without the use of AI in some shape … Continue reading

Constitutional Court explains the nature of the right to fair administrative action

In an important judgment, the Constitutional Court emphasises that fundamental rights are primarily meant to protect human beings against the state. All the rights contained in our Bill of Rights are very much fundamental rights, including the right to just administrative action enshrined in section 33. South Africa’s administrative law benefits natural and juristic private persons. … Continue reading

Increased directors’ duty of care in the case of approaching business crisis (Italy)

Italian directors now have a specific duty of care to properly manage the company if a business crisis or insolvency is looming. The Italian parliament recently passed a law empowering the government to adopt legislative measures to reform Italy’s current legal framework on business crisis and insolvency. The directors’ enhanced duty of care starts long … Continue reading

Lawyer vs artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) software has beaten a group of lawyers from top international firms in an insurance claim accuracy test. A group of students from the University of Cambridge founded an AI start-up that builds systems that predict legal decisions. These systems were recently pitted against more than 100 partners and associates from major corporate … Continue reading

Limited right to challenge arbitrator’s decision (UK)

The losing party before an arbitration tribunal cannot challenge the decision of the tribunal based on an alleged failure to deal with the evidence properly unless in exceptional cases the tribunal genuinely overlooked evidence that really mattered, or got the wrong end of the stick in misunderstanding really important evidence. The arbitrator’s role is to … Continue reading
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