Typically known for its Carnaval and beautiful beaches, Brazil is making waves in the world of #techjustice and its use of AI. Back in 2008, Brazil reached the fourth place in the world in the production of paper. This was the impetus behind the 100% Digital Project, which saw TJSP become paperless. Since 30 November 2015, all actions have been received digitally, it is no longer possible to submit an action by paper. Now, Brazil is seen to be a leader in South America* and the world in implementing innovative practices and rethinking the way justice can be delivered. Most recently, the Magistrate’s Digital Assistant, officially known as “Assistente Digital do Magistrado” has launched and uses AI to give more speed to judicial decision-making. As technology ventures into this new field with little to no boundaries, it is crucial that we start discussing not only the efficiency savings that can result from advances in technology but also the moral implications of entrusting human decisions to algorithms in this way.

Project Description

State Court of Justice of Sao Paulo (TJSP)


Back in 2015, the State Court of Justice of Sao Paulo (TJSP) realised extraordinary efficiencies as a result of its digital transformation. With one of the largest population centres in South America and as the largest Court in Latin America, the task that developers and the court staff faced was huge. Now, citizens can conduct simple court services from their home computers, Judges can rapidly access information remotely and lawyers can find information in much less time. The TJSP uses the System of Automation of Justice (SAJ), developed by Softplan, to manage the lawsuits that process in the first and second instances. About 51,000 people, including civil servants, magistrates, judges and trainees, received training to fully operate the technology and to grant more speed to the judicial service. The training, known as the ‘Bandeirante Justice’ project, proved effective with impressive results.

Magistrate’s Digital Assistant

This style of innovation has continued. The latest is the “Assistente Digital do Magistrado” or “Magistrate’s Assistant” that is based on Cognitive Computing, Artificial Intelligence and Data Science. It promises to make judicial adjudication work more agile. The Magistrate’s Assistant has algorithms trained to extract the most relevant parts of the process and indicate the most appropriate jurisprudence for the magistrate. The professional then becomes responsible for the revision of the piece and the final arguments. This new way of working has been described by Daniel Hillis, co-Founder of Applied Invention, as a kind of “integrated intelligence” where humans and machines work together.

Paulo Dimas, President of TJSP is supportive of these innovations and is optimistic that “these mechanisms that we have seen will make it possible, above all, for this work of reporting, for seeking jurisprudence, for research, for the work of organizing the decision to be much simpler and easier.”

SOFTPLAN presents the latest innovative solutions for the judiciary

At the Federal level, this and other AI solutions were discussed during the National Meeting on IT earlier this year.

What will be next?

The speed and adoption of innovation in Brazil begs the question: what will be next? Is cognitive computing the future of Brazilian Justice? Should it be adopted by other jurisdictions around the world? 
How can we ensure Artificial intelligence remains an ally to deal with immeasurable volumes of information on the one hand and budget and staff constraints on the other?

* Argentinian digital transformation has been heralded as a success story as well. The Augusta System, the digital platform developed by the Buenos Aires Supreme Court, is described by both Microsoft and Lagash as revolutionary. I describe the Argentinian transformation in my recent post here.