Can ChatGPT Summarise a Legal Case Accurately? Legal Island Conducts an Experiment to Find Out

Posted in : Supplementary Articles ROI on 15 August 2023
Legal Island
Legal Island
Issues covered: ChatGPT

Since the moment OpenAI launched its chatbot ChatGPT, powered by artificial intelligence, users from around the world have been testing its capabilities and its limits. Legal Island is one of those inquisitive users. We recently conducted an experiment to test the chatbot's ability to write an employment law case review.

The Process

Legal Island inputted three Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) decisions into ChatGPT and asked it to summarise each case using five bullet points.

The Results

According to OpenAI, ChatGPT has a limit of 3000 words while ChatGPT-4 has a limit of up to 25,000 words at a time (available to those who have subscribed to ChatGPT Plus).It was a challenging task to find WRC decisions that did not surpass the 3,000 words.

In our view, ChatGPT provided more of narrative rather than an accurate legal assessment of the decision. In terms of accuracy, ChatGPT didn’t “make anything up” per se but instead it omitted vital information such as the outcome of the case (pretty important!) There is also the risk that in being so good at summarising, ChatGPT forgets or isn’t aware of the importance of obiter dictum comments made by Adjudication Officers – often these comments can be the most insightful part of a decision. Finally, the case reviews don’t provide any practical guidance for employers. This is distinct to Legal Island’s case reviews prepared by barristers who guide employers on the practical aspects of a WRC decision. While ChatGPT’s speed of summary writing is very impressive indeed, in our opinion, it is safer for now to rely on the legal experts for an accurate assessment of a case! 

The chatbot summaries are set out below:

Case Summaries

1. Tusla Child & Family Agency v A Worker LCR22746

ChatGPT summarised the WRC case as follows:

  1.  The Worker was employed as a Clerical Officer from November 16, 2020, until January 26, 2021, when her employment was terminated.
  2.  She claimed that she was not given fair procedures or natural justice during her dismissal.
  3. The Worker's contract stated she could be assigned to work in any service within the vicinity as the need arises. However, she objected to working at a temporary location, citing adverse effects on her work-life balance and health.
  4.  The Employer argued that the temporary assignment was necessary due to circumstances beyond their control and that the Worker's refusal to comply led to her termination.
  5. The Court ruled that the Worker's refusal to follow a reasonable management instruction was evident, but noted that she was not given adequate notice that her actions could result in disciplinary action and termination. As a result, the Court recommended the Employer to pay the Worker €2,000 as compensation for the unfair termination.

To view and compare this with Legal Island’s full case review prepared by a real human(!) click here:

 2.  A Clinical Psychologist v A Health Body [2023]

ChatGPT summarised the WRC case as follows:

  1. The dispute was submitted to the WRC by the Worker, a Clinical Psychologist, represented by his Union on August 27, 2021.
  2.  Concurrent claims under Equality Legislation and Protected Disclosure Legislation were withdrawn before the hearing.
  3. The claim revolves around a contention of career progression in the Adult Mental Health services and a collision with placings from a local transfer panel.
  4. The Employer rejected the claim and was represented by Conor White, CKT Solicitors, and the local Human Resource Team. The case was postponed on a previous occasion.
  5. The Worker's case is about experiencing career disadvantage due to the filling of Senior Psychologist Posts in the Adult Mental Health Services and being overtaken for appointment to a role he was interviewed and panelled for in 2017.

To view and compare this with Legal Island’s full case review prepared by a real human(!) click here:

3.   Martin Mullally v Thomas Farrell Catering [2023]

ChatGPT summarised the WRC case as follows:

  1. The Complainant worked as a driver/operative for a mobile catering business since July 14, 2008.
  2. He was laid off in March 2020 due to Covid-19 and the business resumed trading in March 2021.
  3.  The Complainant requested redundancy on October 5, 2021, as he was not called back to work. The employer responded after the seven-day period, inviting him to return to work on October 26, 2021.
  4.  The Respondent claims that they were not operating their normal business during 2020 and 2021, and the Complainant's position was not redundant.
  5.  The adjudicator found the complaint to be well-founded as the Respondent failed to comply with the Redundancy Payments Act and the Complainant is entitled to a statutory redundancy payment from July 14, 2008, to March 30, 2020, based on his earnings during that period.

To view and compare this with Legal Island’s full case review prepared by a real human(!) click here:

This article is correct at 15/08/2023

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Legal Island
Legal Island

The main content of this article was provided by Legal Island. Contact telephone number is 028 9446 3888 / 01 401 3874 or email

View all articles by Legal Island