Many aspects of people’s lives are being transformed by technology. Disruptive technology is generating better accountability and shortening the time of litigation in the legal profession as well.
India, too, has progressed to virtual courts with outstanding services since the COVID-19 outbreak. SA Bobde, India’s former Chief Justice, had envisioned the employment of artificial intelligence (AI) in the judiciary. He expressed his joy at the introduction of the Supreme Court Portal for Court Efficiency Assistance (SUPACE) during the inauguration speech.
As reported, Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju recently stated that in order to implement phase two of the eCourts project, new, cutting-edge technologies such as Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) must be adopted in order to improve the efficiency of the justice delivery system.
AI’s expanding effect may be seen in a variety of areas, including IT, farming, manufacturing, and customer service. Although the Indian legal industry has been slower to adapt to technology, it has seen changes.
It is believed that the slower adaptation was promulgated by several lawyers who are still happy with the same old way of operation that was developed decades ago. However, with an ever-increasing need for self-service technologies, even in the legal profession, this once-utopian notion can become a reality for all lawyers.
New-age tech and law
According to the National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG), over 3 crore cases are pending at the district and taluka levels, with over 58 lakh cases still pending at the high courts. According to experts, such pending cases have a knock-on effect that lowers the effectiveness of the judiciary and, as a result, people’s access to justice.
The IBM Watson-powered robot ‘ROSS,’ which used a unique approach of mining data and identifying trends and patterns in the law to address research issues, was the first worldwide player to attempt to apply AI for legal reasons. Surprisingly, the area most affected will not be the litigation process or arbitration proceedings, but rather the back-end work for litigation and arbitration reasons, such as research, data storage and use, and so on.
What does Artificial Intelligence mean?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a mechanism through which computers are programmed to undertake tasks which historically required human intelligence. Machine learning, pattern recognition, big data, neural networks, self-algorithms, and other technologies are all part of it. AI entails difficult tasks such as giving certain data to a machine and having it react to various scenarios.
AI can assist in the completion of a work in a matter of minutes. Machine learning (ML) is a sort of artificial intelligence (AI) that allows software applications to improve their accuracy at predicting outcomes without having to be explicitly programmed to do so. In order to predict new output values, machine learning algorithms utilize historical data as input.
AI proponents argue that technology enables the digitization of data and the integration of diverse data sources, some physical and some digital, to create a treasure mine of information in the aggregate. The Community Justice and Tribunals System (CJTS), the notion of Future Courts in Singapore, the Data Analytics and Research Department (DARD) strengthening data analytics capabilities, and Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) in the United Kingdom are just a few examples.
In Brazil, a number of courts have alredy made the transition from traditional lawsuits to digital disputes, with some investigating artificial intelligence’s possibilities.
Legal problems that AI can solve in India?
According to experts, while technology innovation will help lawyers perform legal research in an efficient and timely manner, it will also help them handle the issue of significant pendency. As a result, AI software-enabled lawyers will be able to focus more on counseling clients and taking on complex issues/cases.
They further add that AI might aid courts and private parties in determining which cases to pursue, which to settle amicably if possible, and which to dismiss.
Most AI software can keep track of the work that is being done, which aids lawyers and businesses in creating invoices for the work they have completed. This enables a new degree of transparency in the work that is being done, which benefits lawyers/firms, clients, and auditing authorities.
A report in lexology highlights that AI systems can tackle more complicated problems in a matter of minutes. It can assist lawyers in narrowing down cases that are relevant to them without the use of tangible papers or search engine websites. Because these traditional processes take more time and effort to complete, it would be more practical to deploy AI software that can quickly locate relevant cases and statutes.
According to the same report, the programme may highlight crucial areas that are relevant in specific contracts, after being “trained” on a large historical set of precedents. This will allow thousands of previous instances to be analyzed and a creation of ‘judge analytics’.
What are the currently used technologies in the Indian judicial system?
As per reports, the usage of technology for e-filing and virtual hearings has increased dramatically during the Covid-19 outbreak. SUVAS (Supreme Court Vidhik Anuvaad Software) is an artificial intelligence system that can help with the translation of court decisions into regional dialects. This is thought to be another historic initiative to improve access to justice.
The Supreme Court of India recently launched SUPACE (Supreme Court Portal for Assistance in Court Efficiency) to first understand judicial processes that require automation and then to assist the Court in improving efficiency and reducing pendency by encapsulating judicial processes that can be automated through AI.
The team at ManCorp Innovations Lab (MCIL), an AI-powered solution company, studied the difficulties faced by the Jharkhand High Court and discovered that there was a shortage of judges and a high volume of criminal cases. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and ChatBot were two technologies developed by the company to overcome the issue. Where OCR translates scanned documents into computer-readable text, rectifies the orientation, etc., ChatBot is managed by both voice instructions and text.
The E-courts Project was conceived with the goal of transforming the Indian judiciary by enabling courts with ICT (Information and Communication Technology). It is a pan-India project for District Courts across the country, overseen and sponsored by the Ministry of Law and Justice and the Department of Justice. The goal was to deliver citizen-centric services in a timely and effective manner.
There are also some questions about the character of an AI’s ethics. A point raised was that AI software does not have a consciousness of its own. While they think before acting, their behaviours are totally programmed, and there is always a question of trustworthiness because AI systems must have a clear ethical goal as well as be technically strong and reliable.
It was also argued that as AI technology advances, new concerns regarding data security, privacy, human rights, and ethics may emerge, necessitating greater self-regulation by AI developers. External regulation will be required by the legislature in the form of statutes, rules, and regulations, as well as by the judiciary in the form of judicial review and constitutional norms.
Another concern that has been raised in relation to implementing Artificial Intelligence is affordability. The affordability of these AI programmes is something that should be considered. With corporations investing in privatized AI research centers, the upkeep of these AI facilities is also a challenge. As a result, the initial and ongoing costs of establishment and operation would be expensive.
This article was originally published here: https://www.indiatimes.com/explainers/news/artificial-intelligence-and-indias-judicial-system-565113.html