Melbourne firm launches robot lawyer to help the unrepresented

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A Melbourne law firm will launch a robot lawyer meant to help unrepresented persons go through the court system, the first time the technology will be used for criminal cases in Australia.
However, Doogue O'Brien George says that the technology is not in any way meant to replace getting advice from real human lawyers, a report from ABC reveals.
Partner Bill Doogue tells the publication that the service is being launched because he has seen up to 30% of people, too many in his opinion, go through the court system unrepresented. The service in essence helps people tell their story.
“You see people constantly come out of court and they're quite distressed, because they haven't told their story, they just haven't been able to,” he says.
“[Some] are visibly distressed and uncomfortable talking and give monosyllabic answers to the magistrate, when they have a story they should be telling,” he adds.
As with other robot lawyers, the service will ask people who have logged into the system to provide personal information and the details of their legal matter.
"The robot has a number of hurdles that it places in front of people, but they have to be pleading guilty, it has to be a minor offence, and they can't have priors," Doogue tells ABC. “Then they just use the online service to prepare their data to hand up to the magistrate.”
Nonetheless, the partner said that the technology is meant to give people the ability to do their statement in a reflective way, answering questions any criminal lawyer is going to ask anyway, and is not mean to “pinch lawyers’ work.”

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