from Market Design at http://bit.ly/2Ri1Uw8 on June 16, 2019 at 09:59AM
"If someone had said that I would be writing a blog post to consider a law that might imprison people for conducting statistical analysis on publicly available data, I would have thought that was unlikely because who would ever propose, let alone enact, such a law?
"The other day we got our answer: France! The very country that produced Laplace, Pascal and Guerry!
"The law in question is Article 33 of the Justice Reform Act which was amended to read as follows:
"The identity data of magistrates and members of the judiciary cannot be reused with the purpose or effect of evaluating, analysing, comparing or predicting their actual or alleged professional practices.
"That maximum sentence (yes, criminal sentence) for violating this is 5 years. This puts ‘statistics’ in the category of a crime. Notice that it is actually using the data for a specific purpose and not something else like publishing outcomes that violate privacy.
What this means is that you cannot do statistical analyses that compare judges. "
Here’s a news article from a site called Artificial Lawyer, devoted to legal tech:
"In a startling intervention that seeks to limit the emerging litigation analytics and prediction sector, the French Government has banned the publication of statistical information about judges’ decisions – with a five year prison sentence set as the maximum punishment for anyone who breaks the new law.
"Owners of legal tech companies focused on litigation analytics are the most likely to suffer from this new measure.
"The new law, encoded in Article 33 of the Justice Reform Act, is aimed at preventing anyone – but especially legal tech companies focused on litigation prediction and analytics – from publicly revealing the pattern of judges’ behaviour in relation to court decisions.
"A key passage of the new law states:
‘The identity data of magistrates and members of the judiciary cannot be reused with the purpose or effect of evaluating, analysing, comparing or predicting their actual or alleged professional practices.’ "