D!ARC Lectures 24.11.2022 Automating Criminal Justice

24th of November 2022     4 till 6 p.m.   HS 5


Prof. Dr. Aleš Završnik

Automated decision-making processes already influence how decisions are made in the financial industry, as well as in education and employment. Applied to social platforms, they have contributed to the distortion of democratic processes, such as general elections. This trend is a part of “algorithmic governmentality” (Rouvroy and Berns, 2013) and the increased influence of mathematics on all spheres of our lives. It is a part of “solutionism”, whereby tech companies offer technical solutions to all social problems, including crime. Despite the strong influence of mathematics and statistical modelling on all spheres of life, the question of “what, then, do we talk about when we talk about ‘governing algorithms’?” (Barocas et al., 2013) remains largely unanswered in the criminal justice domain. How does the justice sector reflect the trend of the “algorithmisation” of society and what are the risks and perils of such? The purpose of the talk is to, first, examine the more fundamental changes in knowledge production in criminal justice settings occurring due to over-reliance on the new epistemological transition, and second, to show why automated predictive decision-making tools are often at variance with fundamental liberties and also with the established legal doctrines and concepts of criminal procedure law.


Dr. Aleš Završnik is the Director of the Institute of Criminology at the Faculty of Law in Ljubljana and Full Professor at the Faculty of Law University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. His research interest lay in the intersection of law, crime, technology, and fundamental rights.

Dr. Aleš Završnik was EURIAS / Marie Curie Fellow at the Collegium Helveticum (ETHZ) in Zürich (2017/18) and also postdoctoral fellow of the Norwegian Research Council at the University of Oslo and at the Max-Planck-Institute für ausländisches und internationals Strafrecht in Freiburg i. Br.

Among several others, he led a research project “Automated Justice: Social, Ethical and Legal Implications” (Slovenian Research Agency, 2018–21) and “Human Rights and Regulation of Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence” (Slovenian Research Agency and several Ministries, 2019–21).

He edited several books, such as Big Data, Crime and Social Control (Routledge, 2018) and Automating crime prevention, surveillance, and military operations (Springer, 2021) and published several articles in the field of law, technology and human rights, such as the article “Algorithmic Justice” (European Journal of Criminology, 2019). He organised several conferences in these research areas over the last 15 years, e.g. Automated Justice: Algorithms, Big Data and Criminal Justice Systems in Zürich (2018) and Big Data: Challenges for Law and Ethics in Ljubljana (2017).

Završnik collaborated with the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) on the preparation of the “Ethical Charter on the Use of Artificial Intelligence in Judicial Systems” (2018). He is an independent Ethics Expert with the European Research Council (ERC) (from 2017).


Prof. Dr. Aleš Završnik

Institute of Criminology at the Faculty of Law, Ljubljana

Poljanski nasip 2

SI-1000 Ljubljana, SLOVENIA

P: +386 1 4203 251

E: ales [dot] zavrsnik [at] pf [dot] uni-lj [dot] si

F: +386 1 4203 245

W: www.inst-krim.si