EU: Artificial Intelligence and Internet Regulations must fully respect human rights, warns ICJ

The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union should amend legislative proposals regulating artificial intelligence (AI) and online digital services to bring them in line with human rights law, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) said today in two briefing papers addressing the proposals.

The ICJ welcomed the effort by the European Commission to pioneer effective regulation of AI and digital services with the draft Artificial Intelligence Act (AIA) and Digital Services Act (DSA). Many of their provisions reflect international and human rights law standards.

However, the draft regulations as proposed by the Commission do not fully prohibit the use of real time remote biometric identification systems, such as facial recognition, allowing for their use in ways that are not clearly defined by law and may not be strictly necessary and proportionate to a legitimate aim.

The DSA would give power to administrative authorities to block and request information from online providers based on an undefined category of “illegal content”. Furthermore, in terms of remedies for human rights violations, the Regulation prioritises alternative dispute resolution mechanisms over national courts, risking violations of international human rights law.

“The regulations would effectively privatise adjudication of human rights disputes. We need the judiciary to be at the centre of providing an effective remedy online as it is offline” said Massimo Frigo.

Finally, the ICJ is concerned that neither regulation provides sufficient guarantees for the independence of oversight authorities.

The ICJ briefing papers are available here:



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