Updated: May 2
Artificial Intelligence [AI] is a computer system able to execute tasks that ordinarily require human intelligence. Many of these artificial intelligence systems are powered by machine learning. The Indian legal sector has seen very little creation in terms of technology and lawyers these days still depend on the methods and solutions that were designed years ago.
Artificial intelligence can play a big part in enhancing the way lawyers operate and the law is looked at in India. In the context of the Indian judicial system, judicial delays and pendency are common and many ways have been suggested to tackle these issues. These include measures such as gaining judge strength, cutting down vacation time, and non-acceptance of frivolous cases. Various steps are being taken like referring cases for Alternative Dispute Resolution (or ADR) mechanisms, but they aren’t enough. The net result of delayed and ineffective justice remains the same. For a judiciary which has more than 3 crores pending cases, much more needs to be done. It is, therefore, crucial to think of out of the box solutions, in addition to the formal ones, to restore the convincingness and efficiency of the justice delivery system and make the same sustainable. One such solution is using Artificial Intelligence in judicial matters.
The Indian the legal system is continuously improving and with the use of Artificial Intelligence, lawyers can get unparalleled insight into the legal domain within seconds. Legal research is a skilled art which takes up a significant number of man-hours. However, AI can get research done in seconds. AI can reduce the cost incurred by law firms in legal research and enhance the quality of such research. It can provide lawyers with highly efficient and advanced tools helping them to become better in advising clients or prosecution. Thousands of cases that are fairly similar in nature are being filed every year. There are very few endeavours analyse how these cases are evolving at every stage. Judges need to be equipped with enough information about the possible ways that would help in faster disposal of the case. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is capable of supporting judges by signifying vital information regarding an ongoing case based on past cases of a similar nature. These tasks that AI will accomplish may range from common matters such as service of processes to complex ones like an evaluation of evidence. This will not only save the judicial time of the courts leading to better utilization of public money but may also help in reducing the impact personal biases of the judge in decision making. Examination of these variables can assist judges make better strategic rulings which can help reduce holdups in a case. AI can be mainly effective at the evidence stage. Research suggests that the evidence stage is vital in a case and takes up a large portion of the court’s time. Therefore, the use of Artificial Intelligence in judgment making in courts is a viable outcome for bringing down the tendency of cases in India.
In the words of CJI SA Bobde-
“Artificial intelligence, as I see, brings new hope to drive the public faith to our institutions. One of the most transparent measures to adjudge performance is your ability to dispose of cases.”
CJI SA Bobde said that the Supreme Court has decided to introduce a system of AI that would help in better administration of justice delivery. However, he made clear that people should form the notion that the AI would ever reinstate the judges. Despite the in the elegance of AI, there will be inaccuracies because of unstructured data sources. The e-Courts portal has been one of the most substantial steps taken for judicial reforms in the contemporary period. Since its launch, it has made a massive trove of data available online, at no cost for users. But every information cannot be made public knowledge via these portals.
AI will only have restricted use. It cannot be used in cases relating to divorce, maintenance, international disputes etc. Such cases require human contact and display of emotions which the mechanical system of AI won’t be able to portray or comprehend. Trained machines can never replace human judges. AI may be able to dispose of the cases easily, but it can never relate to a human touch which is essential in a case.