Mihoko Sumida
Professor, Hitotsubashi Institute for Advanced Study

Hitotsubashi University and the University of Cambridge, with support from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), have conducted an international joint research project titled ‘Legal Systems and Artificial Intelligence’ since January 2020[1]. This project has focused on the Japanese Government’s vision of a future society ‘Society 5.0’ and ‘judicial decision-making’, which forms the core of the legal system, and has taken on the challenge of exploring a new jurisprudence to realise ‘Justice suitable for Society 5.0′. The project has sought to answer the following question: ‘To what extent can the elaborate and sophisticated language game of legal reasoning, which is at the heart of justice, be computerized?[2] ’  In order to create jurisprudence that can contribute to the goal of becoming an advanced country that “solves” social issues in an age of various structural social problems, we have proposed a new concept of jurisprudence called “legal innovation”, which captures the “adaptation” of the legal system to a rapidly changing socio-economy[3].

Achieving a judiciary that aligns with the principles of ‘Society 5.0’ is a unique and challenging task, which extends beyond the transformative impact of innovative technologies on the economy and society. To realize this goal, it is imperative that we generate synergies and collaboration between cutting-edge technology AI research and the field of law, employing new social scientific methods to gain a precise understanding of the profound changes shaping the future socio-economic landscape.

At Hitotsubashi University, we are exploring new social sciences in connection with data and information technology science, and we are very pleased to be able to take on the challenge of this new research frontier together with our partners at the University of Cambridge.

We hope you will join us in this exciting intellectual endeavour!


[2] Simon Deakin and Christopher Markou (eds.), Is Law Computable? Critical Perspectives on Law and Artificial Intelligence, Hart, 2021.

[3] Felix Steffek & Mihoko Sumida eds., Legal Innovation: Technology, the Legal Profession and Societal Change, CUP, Coming Soon.