Microsoft announces artificial intelligence powered project to help monitor unfair trials & create pressure on govts.

In many countries, trials are used as instruments of oppression to silence and target human rights defenders and other critics of governments and businesses. Microsoft announced a partnership with Clooney Foundation for Justice (CFJ) to help advance human rights through TrialWatch, a programme that trains and equips trial monitors to document and determine whether trials are conducted in a fair way. Microsoft  developers worked with CFJ to incorporate artificial intelligence into the programme, that will make human monitors and judicial experts more effective. CFJ, together with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Columbia Law School and the American Bar Association, works to expose injustices and create pressure on nations to change. TrialWatch website is available below.

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Article
30 April 2019

Clooney Foundation for Justice: TrialWatch

Author: Clooney Foundation for Justice

"TrialWatch website" , Apr 2019

Courts are increasingly being used as a tool of oppression. In many countries, prosecutors and judges are used to imprison government critics and minorities. In other places, a judge’s rulings can be purchased by the highest bidder. Judges can also be complicit in grave human rights abuses when they convict for ‘crimes’ such as homosexuality or blasphemy, or when they ignore the due process rights of defendants. Yet judges and prosecutors are rarely held to account. In some countries, courtrooms are closed...TrialWatch has partnered with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to develop an interactive trial monitoring...Trial monitors will be deployed to observe and report on criminal trials ..TrialWatch will work with legal experts to assess the fairness of trials...TrialWatch will gather data that will contribute to a justice index... This will rank countries according to the fairness of their justice system ...TrialWatch is global in scope and focused on trials targeting journalists, LGBTQ persons, women and girls, religious minorities, and human rights defenders... [W]e are monitoring or have monitored... the trial of six activists in Zambia charged with disobeying lawful orders in connection with a planned, peaceful protest against government corruption...

Article
30 April 2019

TrialWatch app by Microsoft & CFJ uses artificial intelligence to simplify trial documentation

Author: Jeremy Kaplan, Digital Trends (USA)

"George Clooney and Microsoft’s TrialWatch hopes to put a spotlight on injustice", 25 Apr 2019

Microsoft and The Clooney Foundation for Justice unveiled the TrialWatch app on Thursday during an event at Columbia University — a new tool in CFJ’s ongoing effort to shine a light on injustice in courts around the globe... Amal [Clooney], a Lebanese-British lawyer and co-president of the foundation [said]: “Without the fair administration of justice, it is not possible to hold the powers that be to account. There can be no democracy, no freedom of speech, no safety for minorities."..., TrialWatch...aims to monitor [t]rials that oppress vulnerable groups, silence speech, or target political opponents... The new app augments the ability of TrialWatch’s monitors, making it easier to document happenings in a courtroom. It offers a platform to record audio and take pictures of people and documents, which are then uploaded to the cloud. Microsoft’s A.I. can do speech-to-text translation, simplifying the job of documenting a trial. And once in the cloud, A.I. can translate that text so that experts around the globe can analyze it, regardless of language... Microsoft President Brad Smith [said] [t]echnology is one of the most powerful tools dictators can use - and...TrialWatch aim[s] to hit the problem square on the nose...

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Article
29 April 2019

Microsoft president announces new artificial intelligence powered app to support trial monitors

Author: Brad Smith, Microsoft

"Tech that makes the world a witness to courtroom injustices across the globe", 25 Apr 2019

In 1948, as the world recovered from the atrocities of the Second World War, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights....The  world’s governments recognized in the declaration the fundamental right to a fair trial, including a “public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal.” Sadly, more than seven decades later, there are too many days when this right remains elusive for people whose freedom and lives are at stake. In some parts of the world, trials function as instruments of oppression to silence government critics, jail journalists or target minority populations....Microsoft announced a partnership with CFJ to help advance human rights through TrialWatch, a program that trains and equips trial monitors to document and determine whether trials are conducted in a fair way. CFJ’s strategy, in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Columbia Law School and the American Bar Association, is to expose injustices, rally global support, and create pressure on nations to change... [O]ur developers have...work [ed] with CFJ’s team [to] incorporate artificial intelligence that will make human monitors and judicial experts more effective...

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