The Athens Roundtable on AI and the Rule of Law is the premier international, multi-stakeholder forum on the intersection of artificial intelligence and the rule of law. Following three main beacons—international coordination and cooperation, evidence-based decision-making, and democratic governance—the convening promotes Track II diplomacy and collective intelligence in forefront topics related to AI governance.

Since its inception in 2019, The Athens Roundtable has convened participative dialogues with more than 3,600 senior leaders from 120 countries, including representatives from national governments, intergovernmental organizations, industry, and actors from legal, judicial, and compliance systems.

More details on previous editions can be found below:

In addition to the dialogues, The Athens Roundtable also convenes expert working groups to co-design operational solutions for shared AI governance gaps. There are currently four active working groups:

  • Working Group on Judicial and Legal Capacity Building on AI
  • Transatlantic Reflection Group on Democracy and the Rule of Law in the Age of AI
  • Working Group on Interoperable Benchmarking of AI Systems
  • Reflection Group on EU AI Act Enforcement

Working Group on Judicial and Legal Capacity Building on AI

Formed in 2020,  this working group aims to build the capacities of judicial and legal actors with the goal of:

  • Fostering understanding of the risks and opportunities of AI systems within justice contexts;
  • Promoting the enforcement of legal (and normative) frameworks related to AI;
  • Protecting and upholding fundamental values related to human rights, democratic foundations, and the rule of law.

The Working Group has conceptualized, contributed to, and promoted capacity-building activities for judicial and legal actors. This includes a Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) on AI and the Rule of Law. Developed by UNESCO, The Future Society, the National Judicial College, CETIC.br/NIC.br, and IEEE SA, this six-module course unpacks the opportunities and risks of the increasing adoption of AI technologies across justice systems and AI’s impact for the administration of justice, particularly concerning human rights and AI governance.

Transatlantic Reflection Group on Democracy and the Rule of Law in the Age of AI

This working group, formed in 2021, has brought together esteemed lawyers, academics, and policy makers from both sides of the Atlantic to formulate recommendations for legal challenges posed by AI systems.

In 2021, the Transatlantic Reflection Group published A Manifesto In Defense of Democracy and the Rule of Law in the Age of “Artificial Intelligence”, which called for US and European leadership to remain committed to coherent laws, the primacy of the public interest, and the shaping of the digital economy through democracy on both sides of the Atlantic.

In 2022, the group reconvened to publish A Manifesto on Enforcing Law in the Age of “Artificial Intelligence,” which provides 10 recommendations for addressing the enforcement challenges shared across transatlantic stakeholders. The recommendations include implementing international AI agreements into national laws, creating new AI governance mechanisms, enforcing human rights protections, establishing technical standards, empowering public involvement in oversight, developing trustworthy AI tools, and sanctioning law-violating corporations, all while ensuring public interest overrules intellectual property rights.

Reflection Group on Enforcement of the EU AI Act

This Reflection Group, initiated in 2022, aims to contribute to the development of enforcement mechanisms by pooling the collective intelligence of involved decision-makers from the European Council and the European Parliament. This work closely with members to understand their preferences and priorities, identify the cruxes of disagreements, and conduct research to support informed dialogue. In this manner, we arrive at more feasible and effective enforcement approaches.

Working Group on Interoperable Benchmarking of AI Systems

This Working Group was launched in 2021, bringing together members from major standards organizations and technical communities, including U.S. NIST, CEN-CENELEC, IEEE, LNE, VDE, and Greece’s National Centre of Scientific Research.

Through this transatlantic working group, TFS developed “A Proposal for Advancing the Responsible Use of AI through Benchmarks,” a paper that integrates a range of responsible AI development and deployment guidelines to propose an institutionalized, interoperable, open, and ongoing AI benchmarking program (to be published in 2023).

Through this working group, TFS has also explored the possibility of a joint transatlantic roadmap on AI measurement/metrology, echoed in the US-EU Trade & Technology Council’s Joint Roadmap on Evaluation and Measurement Tools for Trustworthy AI and Risk Management, which called for advancing shared terminologies and taxonomies.

Team members

Related resources

Endorsements