The Future of AI in the Brazilian Judicial System

Challenge / Opportunity

With a current backlog of 78 million lawsuits, the Brazilian judicial system operates with substantial challenges in case flow management and a lack of resources to meet this demand. Drastic solutions are needed to improve efficiency. In order to address these issues, the Brazilian National Council of Justice (CNJ) has enabled the 92 courts it administratively oversees to develop their own AI models, resulting in a seemingly uncoordinated algorithmic universe in the judicial system.


More specifically, our research process, which included international comparative analyses, review of electronic tools and systems, consultations with the CNJ team, the ITS-Rio Team, judges from a variety of different tribunals, and other AI experts, identified five main organizational and technological issues:

  • There is not a clear policy direction for the use of AI in the judicial branch and clear mandated policy principles to ensure that AI is used ethically and safely;

  • Courts are not communicating with the CNJ or other courts regarding the development of their own tools. There is evidence of cross-collaboration between some courts, but that process is not widespread;

  • Many courts have not yet adopted the PJe electronic processing system, and therefore are in danger of being left out of the conversation regarding AI tools;

  • Some courts may turn to other stakeholders, such as academia or the private sector, to help develop tools. Therefore, it is imperative that the CNJ comes up with a framework for such collaboration;

  • There is yet to be implemented a monitoring and evaluation mechanism to ensure that AI is used ethically within the Judicial Branch.

Click here for more information and access to the full version of the final report. Click here for press coverage in Brazil.
Intervention / Solution / Approach

In partnership with the Institute for Technology and Society (ITS) – a non-profit research institute based in Rio de Janeiro – we designed a collaborative governance structure to strategically integrate all AI initiatives in the Brazilian judiciary. In order to do so, the proposed model had three objectives:

  1. Create an open-ended framework to map and categorize the different AI tools already developed in the Brazilian Judiciary, including a comparative study and a model for integration and standardization.

  2. Design an AI collaborative Governance structure that will allow the Courts to achieve greater collaboration and cooperation, and that works jointly with the Electronic Judicial Process (PJe) and its auxiliary tools.

  3. Conduct an analysis of the principles, processes, incentives and internal regulations that govern the operation of the PJe Innovation Lab, including a proposal for perfecting and expanding the current management model according to international best practices.  

Fifteen specific recommendations and strategies were included in the final report and organized around the following seven areas:

  • Agenda Setting

  • AI Mapping and Assessment Tools

  • Integration of the current Court System

  • Collaboration between Courts

  • Strengthening the INOVA PJe framework

  • Facilitation of safe participation by the private sector

  • Monitoring and evaluation of tools and policies