Credits to
Federico Carmelo La Vattiata

The recent Proposal of the European Commission for a Regulation laying down harmonised rules on artificial intelligence: an overview

Issue 6/2021

Abstract. On the 21st of April 2021, the European Commission published a Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council «laying down harmonised rules on artificial intelligence (Artificial Intelligence Act) and amending certain Union legislative acts». The package is the outcome of three years of intense policymaking on AI at European level.
The Proposal – through «a proportionate and risk-based European regulatory approach» – pursues the “twin objectives” of addressing the risks associated with specific AI applications in a proportionate manner and of promoting the uptake of AI.
This article aims at providing an overview of the document. In particular, the main elements of interest for substantive criminal law and criminal procedure will be investigated. In this regard, they will be classified into three thematic areas: a) the scope of the Proposal and the definition of AI; b) the prohibited AI practices; c) the questions concerning the topic of (“intelligent”) product liability.

This article was submitted anonymously for evaluation by two expert reviewers, with a positive outcome.


SUMMARY: 1. Introduction. – 2. The Communication «Fostering a European approach to Artificial Intelligence». – 3. The Proposal for a Regulation «Laying down Harmonised Rules on Artificial Intelligence (Artificial Intelligence Act) and Amending Certain Union Legislative Acts». – 3.1. The Explanatory Memorandum. – 3.2. The Proposal: quid iuris for substantive criminal law and criminal procedure? – 3.2.1. The scope of the Proposal and the definition of AI. – 3.2.2. The AI prohibited practices, in particular the use of AI systems for “real-time” remote biometric identification in publicly accessible spaces for the purpose of law enforcement. – 3.2.3. Some remarks on the topic of (“intelligent”) product liability. – 4. Conclusion.


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