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Sherrard Conversation | Can a machine be a person? New legal issues arising from recent advances in artificial intelligence.

Thursday 18th of April 2024 18:00

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Sherrard Room


​​​​​​​17:45 ~ Doors Open
18:15 ~ Lecture
19:15 ~ Reception

Expected to end at approx. 20:30

Event Details

Questions of whether machines could be classed as persons were once confined to science fiction, but technological advances suggest it may soon become an issue that legal systems will have to confront. Join Master Colin Birss and Academic Fellow Dr Joshua Jowitt in a conversation around recent cases from England and Wales and other jurisdictions that suggest the issue of nonhuman personhood is one that the law may have to consider. 

Details of the preparation required in advance of this session will be made available to ticket holders in due course, and at least one week before the session. You will be able to download it using the link at the top of this page. Please ensure that you prepare in good time.

Who can Attend

This event is open to all members of the Inn. No guests.

Dietary Requirements

Qualifying Session Details

Click here to see details of the QS Requirements and how to be credited with the QS for this session

Learning Aims:

After this session, students should be able to:

  • Describe the issues AI may present to the legal system in the future.

  • Identify key cases relating to AI.

  • Examine the issue of non-person humanhood and how the law may have to consider this.

Links to the Professional Statement, wider workings of the Bar, administration of justice or a public interest matter

The QS will align with these elements of the Professional Statement:

  • 1.3 Have a knowledge and understanding of the law and procedure relevant to their area(s) of practice.

Click here to view the BSB's Professional Statement

QS Feedback

If you have any feedback on a QS you have attended or have any suggestions for future sessions, please contact the education department on

Bookings and Cancellations

Members of the Inn can buy tickets online by clicking ‘Add to Cart’.  Please note that you must log in to book (if you have not yet created a log-in please register first).  Alternatively you can buy tickets from the Treasury Office by calling 020 7427 4800.

Unless the event sells out earlier, booking will close at 09:00 two working days before the event.


Where we have a waiting list we will offer your ticket to someone else, so please do cancel your ticket if you are no longer able to attend.

Click here to view our Bookings and Cancellation Policies

Disabled Access and Support

If you have questions about accessibility at the Inn or if you would like to request support, please email Richard Frost.

The Inn is committed to improving access to all its services and encourages members to get in touch with suggestions and feedback on how we can improve. If you feel your experience using the website or attending one of our events could be improved, please email Richard. Your suggestions will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Data Protection & Photography

Please be aware that photography, audio and video recording may take place at our events. These may be used for promotional purposes by the Inn, including in printed publications, on our website, and on our social media accounts. If you do not wish to have your photograph taken or to have images of you used, please alert the EducationTeam at the start of the event. We are unable to guarantee that you will not be included in the background of photographs that are being taken. Contact: 020 7427 4800,

All personal data that the Inn stores and processes is held in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the Inn’s Data Protection Policy. You can ask the Inn to stop using your images at any time, or request to see the personal data that the Inn holds on you. For more information please visit the Data Protection page

Times and details for this event are subject to change. Please check this webpage for the most up to date information.