Amsterdam/Strasbourg, February 16, 2023

ALLAI is pleased and honored that Jan Kleijssen, former human rights director of the Council of Europe, has decided to join its Advisory Board.

Jan worked for 40 years at the Council of Europe on a wide variety of issues and was responsible, for instance, for the establisment of the Istanbul Convention (on the prevention of violence against women and domestic violence) and for the work of GRECO, the anti-corruption monitoring body. He was also involved in the Venice Commission’s recent report on the Dutch Childcare Benefits Scandal.  In recent years he has been the driving force behind the AI-treaty which is currently being negotiated in the Council of Europe.

ALLAI has been putting the impact of AI on human rights, democracy and the rule of law on the agenda for several years now. In 2020 Catelijne Muller wrote the advice “The Impact of AI on Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law”, for the Ad Hoc Committee on AI (CAHAI) of the Council of Europe. In this advisory report, she concludes that virtually all human rights, as well as democracy and the rule of law, can be vulnerable if AI is developed and deployed unchecked. ALLAI is now formally involved in the negotiations on the AI treaty as an Observer.

“I am very honored that Jan accepted the invitation to join ALLAI’s Advisory Board without hesitation.” says ALLAI chairman Catelijne Muller. ”His expertise both on AI as well as on the development of human rights treaties is extremely valuable. Not only now, now that the AI-treaty is being negotiated, but certainly also in the years to come. AI is developing very fast. Generative AI systems such as ChatGPT can be disruptive to democratic processes, the public debate and institutions such as the judiciary, government and education. So we have to keep our finger on the pulse of democracy and society and Jan knows that pulse like no other.”

“AI offers unprecedented opportunities for progress, both in the public and the private sphere. But it also carries huge risks, as dramatically demonstrated by the Childcare Benefits Scandal”. says also Jan Kleijssen. “It is a privilege, and a major challenge, to continue to contribute, together with the brilliant minds in ALLAI, to urgently needed regulation.”

Other members of the Advisory Board are Aimee van Wynsberghe, Jaya Baloo, Bob v/d Wal, Jim Dratwa and Robert Went.