1. Hi Jean-Rémy, before answering more specific questions, could you briefly tell us about your background?
I first studied finance before switching to law. I did my Masters in International Law at Paris Nanterre University and then worked few years with Alain Pellet. Being part of these international teams of lawyers representing States before international courts and tribunals was a very enriching experience.
I also started a PhD on States’ Digital Sovereignty that I stopped to create Jus Mundi. I now realize that I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur. I was just not aware that it could be a profession.
2. What is Jus Mundi and what are the reasons that led you, as a lawyer, to create it?
I consider international law to be a fantastic step forward for humanity, carrying within it the ideals of international peace and justice, but the thing is that it stays a matter of experts. The community of internationalists is a closed group of people. I believe that bringing international law closer to the national legal communities worldwide will strengthen it, enhance its utilization and then, its effectivity. This was the starting point to create Jus Mundi.
I convinced friends working in IT and data science to work on a solution with me: an intelligent and multilingual search engine for international law. We have chosen one field to test our technology: investment arbitration.
Jus Mundi’s technology allows to save time and to find more references. In books or legal databases, famous references are selected and can be found quickly. But when we need more than these well-known sources, we have to spend hours reading articles and awards. That’s where a search engine makes the difference.
3. Does legal technology have its place and future in arbitration?
We are using artificial intelligence to make the legal research in investment arbitration faster and more relevant. We could theoretically do the same thing with commercial arbitration, but the confidentiality of awards is a problem. To teach the artificial intelligence, we need a complete and accurate dataset.
Artificial intelligence is also taking an increasing place in the managing of complex factual landscape, especially to facilitate discovery. It allows a rapid review of a large amount of data.
Various legal technologies will impact arbitration (and litigation) in the future. A few years ago, working on a maritime delimitation case, I imagined how effective it could be to put virtual reality glasses on the judges’ noses to show them that there was no way to consider this rock as an island. Well, that would be very easy today.
4. Do you think that legal technology will be able to replace lawyers and human resources in arbitration one day?
On the one hand, legal technology will make the life of lawyers easier and reduce the cost of justice. For example, it might replace them for the administrative and procedural tasks. It is a good thing since it is rarely the part of the job we enjoy the most. On the other hand, there is the irreplaceable creative and human part. I am talking about these cases that we have no idea how to win at first glance before finding THE solution; or these clients who are firstly looking for SOMEONE to defend them; or this arbitrator who will be convinced by the ONE who will be able to put simply a complex problem. For this part, lawyers will remain indispensable, at least until we teach bad faith to machines.
5. Can you give any tips for students and young practitioners who want to innovate and facilitate access to arbitration?
In a world were knowledge and intelligence have become a commodity, you should cultivate creativity, empathy and adaptability. Travelling is the best way to develop such competences.
One of my professors once said that to become better lawyers, we should do anything else than law. It is especially true if you want to innovate. You will have to collaborate with developers, data scientist, designers, investors, … each of them having its own working logic. Pluridisciplinarity is a huge advantage.
Finally, ask yourself the good questions. Why do you want to become a lawyer or to innovate? There is no such big source of energy than a strong why.