Let’s consider an example. A married couple is getting a divorce. There is a custody dispute. The parties gather their evidence and understand that the court will make a custody decision based on the best interests of the child. Thus, the evidence the parties gather and witnesses they bring to court all center around what they think is in the best interests of the child. Then the judge makes a decision based on the evidence….allegedly. The problem is that the judge (in any type of case) brings his/her own bias to the decision making process. Is there any way to prevent a decision from being made in light of the judge’s own prejudices?
Consider this…as we learn more and more about algorithms and big data, can we tap into that information to bring a less arbitrary decision to the legal process. We submit that a more scientifically based decision in cases can be rendered. However, it will take cooperation in the legal community to admit and address that the human error factor is part of the legal process. There are ways we can begin by taking small steps to eliminate human error to some decisions. For example, in child support cases can we eliminate bias in the determination of the numbers? One small example is to recognize inherent bias associated with child support numbers. See this link for a more in-depth discussion.