Explainable Artificial Intelligence and Fairness in Asylum Law (XAIfair)

XAIfair is an interdisciplinary project where data scientists (AI/XAI researchers) and legal scholars join forces to overcome the challenge of introducing meaningful XAI into a specific legal domain, namely Nordic asylum law.

This project will enable closer collaboration of junior researchers from data science and law, enabling them to develop a ‘common language’ and build a shared ontology. The overall ambition of the XAIfair to pioneer a neurosymbolic approach to XAI in law in order to improve transparency and interpretability whilst meeting legal demands for fairness and explanation in public decision-making. XAIfair will finally work to devise a roadmap on how to expand the methods and tools developed to other legal fields.



The scientific research approach in XAIfair follows three steps, each requiring interdisciplinary collaboration. First, an NLP machine learning algorithm aimed at predicting the outcome of an asylum decision from textual content is developed. This algorithm will serve as a testbed for the remaining project.

Second, an ‘indirect XAI algorithm’ is developed to serve as benchmark. Developing the indirect XAI algorithm requires close collaboration between data scientists and legal scholars both to ensure the development of a ‘common language’, and to enable an iterative process where algorithmic output will be assessed by domain experts that in turn provide feedback for further development, etc.

The third step will apply a neurosymbolic approach and develop a general XAI algorithm for asylum law. The approach will be rooted in interdisciplinary and ethical discussions regarding ‘what an XAI algorithm can explain’ and ‘what an XAI algorithm should explain’ to advance the ‘common language’ into an ontology.






The project is a partnership between the Nordic Asylum Law & Data Lab led by professor Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen (iCourts, Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen) and the AI for the People research center led by professor Thomas Moeslund (Faculty of IT and Design, Aalborg University).

Two international collaborators are connected to the project: Dr Nikolas Aletras (Department of Computer Science, University of Sheffield) and Søren Jørgensen (Center for Human Rights and International Justice, Stanford University)











University of Copenhagen

Name Title
Byrne, William Hamilton Research assistant Billede af Byrne, William Hamilton
Gammeltoft-Hansen, Thomas Professor with special responsibilities
Billede af Gammeltoft-Hansen, Thomas
Olsen, Henrik Palmer Associate Dean for Research
(co-PI, NordASIL)
Billede af Olsen, Henrik Palmer

Aalborg University

Name Title
Moeslund, Thomas B.  Professor
(PI XAIfair)

Mahesh Muddamsetty, Satya Assistant professor


Velux Foundation logo
The XAIfair project I funded by a Villum Synergy from the Villum Foundation.

The total grant amount is DKK 2,999,526. The project period runs from 1 December 2021 to 30 November 2023.


Thomas Gammeltoft-HansenPI Professor
Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen

South Campus,
Building: 6B.4.40
DK-2300 Copenhagen S
Phone: +45 50 20 34 00
E-mail: tgh@jur.ku.dk