LMU Law Review Symposium & Call For Papers

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Posted by Stefanie Bowen, community karma 1433


LMU Law Review is proud to announce a symposium exploring the effect of algorithms on judicial decision-making. Algorithms permeate our daily lives—from the web pages we see in Google’s search engine results list to what recommended show we will binge—and most people accept that influence as inevitable. These algorithms predict outcomes every day. But what about the use of algorithms in the criminal justice system? Algorithms are now being used in various jurisdictions in the United States to determine whether to detain defendants pretrial. Algorithms are also used in the sentencing and parole context to assess an individual’s statistically probable future criminal behavior. These assessments can be developed from various methodologies varying from unstructured clinical judgment to advanced actuarial and statistical processes. Certain assessments contemplate only correlations of criminal recidivism, while others also consider criminogenic needs. Assessments of this character have long been used to classify defendants for supervision and treatment on community supervision and within prisons. Are these algorithms effective, unbiased, and helpful?

This symposium will explore whether human judicial decision-makers should embrace artificial intelligence technologies such as algorithms to the extent it can supplement and support the human judicial decision-making process. Would these decisions be perceived as more legitimate, more consistent, and fairer in the eyes of future generations? Can algorithms serve as a legitimate source of checks and balances or are they biased, built by implicitly prejudiced individuals who may be mechanizing dominant world views?

The goal of this event is to bring together academics, legal practitioners, government officials, and judges who will tackle this broad topic from many angles and with varying perspectives.

Together with presenting at the symposium, we are seeking papers of approximately 10,000 words in length from the symposium presenters. If you are interested in having your paper published in the LMU Law Review, we would very much appreciate you submitting a one-page paper proposal by January 1, 2022. We are also happy to review completed unpublished papers. Our editorial board is committed to making prompt decisions on the selection of the presenters, and all decisions on paper proposals will be made quickly. Final drafts of papers to be will need to be submitted by May 1, 2022. The papers will be published in Volume IX, Issue 3 of the LMU Law Review, which we anticipate being published in August 2022.

We hope that you are interested in participating. If so, please email your paper proposal or unpublished paper to stefanie.bowen@lmunet.edu by January 1, 2022. If you have questions about the symposium, please feel free to contact me at the same email address. We very much appreciate you considering participating in the symposium.