WFH or Work From Home, Stay Home Stay Safe and many other hashtags invigorated the spirits and need of an online setup in the fields of one and many. One such field is the Indian Judiciary. With the vast rise in pending cases and endless uncertainties about attaining the normal, we settled for the hashtag of the new normal and the judicial system got digitized.
AI or Artificial Intelligence became the answer to almost every question and concern raised during the pandemic period. Investment in AI showed a high for the infinite possibilities it offers. However, challenges and difficulties made way with this tech giant.
The Apex Court of India inaugurated its first AI portal, Supreme Court Portal for Assistance in Courts Efficiency (SUPACE) in 2021 with a view to collect and organize relevant facts and case laws to reduce the workload of the judges. Bombay and Delhi HCs will be using this on an experimental basis and others will thus follow. The Apex court also launched Supreme Court Vidhik Anuvaad Software (SUVAS) designed to assist in the translation of legal documents and judgments into nine different dialects. It uses Neural machine translation (NMT) as a translation tool to serve the purpose.
Besides, the idea of e-courts or virtual courts is gaining quite a momentum as it helps minimize legal costs, along with providing efficient and time-bound redressal of the cases. IIT-Kharagpur has devised a technology with the ability to read orders and judgments of the court and highlight the laws being violated in a case with the view of giving guidance to the common citizenry.
CHALLENGES WITH THE AI SYSTEM
A good number of advocates are inept with the functioning and working of this technology and it will take a fair amount of time for them to develop an understanding of the same. The technology is also unwelcomed by some senior lawyers on the ground that AI is a threat to the legal fraternity and will eventually bring huge unemployment in the system by substituting humans.
Privacy, data protection and other ethical issues pose a grave question in the light of this new tech revolution and the system must consider safeguarding the personal information of a client on priority lines. Another major challenge lies in the installation, maintenance and upgrading costs of the technology. It is unreasonable to expect that every individual lawyer or law firm will be able to afford such costs. Machines are just a set of commands fed into the system and can replicate men in no possibility. Moreover, if machines replace judges in decision-making, they are ought to arrive at decisions based on pre-determined cases and this won’t be fair since the facts of each case vary.
ADVANTAGES OF THE AI SYSTEM
It reduces the manual workload of advocates by extracting relevant information in relation to the case, reviewing them accordingly, compiling and arranging them in a fairly good amount of time. It also eliminates the chances of error in the documents and provides more accuracy than even the most trained human.
It is very helpful for legal research purposes since it currently requires a lot of time and dedication. But with the advent of this new AI technology, the research would take much less time than earlier and advocates can dedicate more hours to legal analysis and strategy-building rather than on such research work.
AI also helps in the generation of invoices for advocates and law firms. The use of such technology has benefitted clients and advocates both by cost-cutting and well-defined fee structures based on work done respectively.
The AI system uses prediction tools to ascertain future outcomes or judgments based on legal patterns of the past. Such predictions can aid an advocate by increasing his odds of winning.
AI is indeed a major revolution in the field of the Indian Judiciary and it is just not possible to think of the future of the Indian legal system without a proper and well-developed AI system. It is capable of doing wonders when paired with human intelligence by facilitating the smooth and effective functioning of the judiciary. The system is designed to be a paralegal and thus, reduce the manual workload by doing tasks like extracting relevant information and compiling it in split seconds for the user. However, there are some major challenges faced while dealing with this new system and they must be addressed timely to serve the purpose of such incorporation of completely new technology in this old and relatively stagnant system. It has a great scope in India and the legal system will surely benefit from it in the upcoming times.
ILS Law College, Pune