These words depict the reality of life. From the ancient period to the modern period, human society has seen a vast amount of change in terms of technology, law, culture, environment and the like. From the advent of the Industrial Revolution, society began to modernise at a much quicker pace. New Industries began to set up which started the use of machines and made the work of human resources much easier. The speed of production became much quicker than before.
It has now become a universal concept that everyone should be able to acquire justice efficiently and at a reasonable cost. The quicker it is resolved, the better for all individuals involved. In the 20th century, the concept of artificial intelligence was also introduced to the world. The classic definition of AI dates back to 1955 when John McCarthy and his fellow researchers characterized artificial intelligence as “making a machine behave in ways that would be called intelligent if a human were so behaving.” According to him, Artificial Machine is a kind of machine that makes a machine works just like a machine. It has replaced human beings to a large extent in various sectors like replacing umpires with machines to check decisions, using machines to check mistakes in the accounts of a firm, detecting a defect in a person’s body and the like. We, humans, have become so much dependent on artificial intelligence, that nowadays we can’t imagine our lives without them.
PENDENCY OF CASES IN COURTS
The legal field is generally known as the field with slow adaptation to the modern trend. It is using many laws which may have become obsolete i.e. Sedition, as it was introduced during the time of Britishers during the Quit India Movement to suppress the right of freedom of speech and expression. The same old traditions are followed for the completion of trial which sometimes takes a lot of time for a pity offence like the trespass. As of April 2018, over three crore cases are pending in all the courts i.e.The Supreme Court, the High Courts, and the lower courts (including district courts).In the High Courts, 23% of cases have been pending for over ten years. Moreover, over 29% of all the cases have been pending for two-five years. An increase in the pendency of cases for long periods over the years has increased the number of undertrials in prisons (accused prisoners awaiting trial). As of 2015, there were over four lakh prisoners in jails. Of these, two-thirds were undertrials (2.8 lacks) and the remaining one-third were convicts. Although in the recent past, new methods have been adopted to solve the pendency of cases like Alternative Dispute Resolution Centre and Mediation Centre where people are advised to go to these respective centres before going to the courts.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN THE LEGAL FIELD
In the recent past, the last decade, there has begun a new trend, which is the use of Artificial Intelligence in the legal field in various areas. It can be of great help in quicker and better solving of cases in the courts. Many workers in the field have gradually realised that it is now necessary to attempt to develop computer systems in law that can be said to embody knowledge and even exhibit intelligence. India ranks 3rd with 19% of the industries in our country using this software to date. In 2017, Cyril AmarchandMangaldasbecame the first legal company to introduce AI software in India in consultation with an agreement with Kira System, which is a Canada-based software provider.
It can make the research work much easier than before, where earlier a lawyer had to keep hundreds of books with him, to find out about a particular clause and find case laws. But nowadays with the advent of AI, all the sections, and cases are mentioned under a particular site in which through which a lawyer can easily research by just typing the cases. The change occurring here is the replacement of keyword searches with semantic searches. Semantic searches allow one to research a person’s natural language, and queries instead of the use of some specialised keywords.
If all the corporate firms decide to give away the menial tasks to Artificial Intelligence, then the problems which require an excessive amount of time can be delegated to human resources. Nowadays, predictive analysis has also arrived where an AI after collecting all the data makes a predictive analysis which may predict the chance of winning a particular case in the court and suggest whether he should try going to court or not.
All the paperwork required, now can be done with the help of AI, which can easily help lawyers in handling all their important documents. A document with the pre-filled necessities may reduce the burden of the lawyer as only specific details need to be filled in. During the COVID-19 pandemic, when everything was stopped and no one was allowed to move out, the courts took to virtual proceedings. This came as a blessing from God as it saved the court from the piling up of a large number of cases and much more burden to the already burdened court.
Criticism is one of the major aspects of anything, even in cases like Is war a necessity after a particular period? Even in these cases, many thinkers may criticise the theory by terming it an end of the older generation and the upbringing of new ideas. One of the major criticisms in the adoption of Artificial Intelligence is that at some point in time, Artificial Intelligence will start overtaking humans. Even now some point out that there are many unemployed who are in a dire need of work. But if we are giving small tasks to AI, instead of Paralegals, interns, and Assistants; then the problem of unemployment will only increase.
Some also criticize the effectiveness of AI. As whenever a new situation may arrive, the AI may not be able to assess the situation completely and may reach the wrong conclusion which may cost a lot to the client. There is also a major concern about the privacy of data as enshrined in K.S. Puttaswamy v Union of India, which held that Articles 14, 19, and 21 of the Indian Constitution protect the right to privacy as a fundamental right. There is a concern that if the data is cached in a virtual format or with the help of AI, then the data might get breached which may harm the proceeding of a case and the security of the officials concerned.
Artificial Intelligence has proved to be of immense benefit in all the other fields like medicine, engineering, and sports and can prove to be a boon in the Legal Arena, despite some of its criticism. Because even though, the number of lawyers and judges has increased in the recent past, the number of cases has increased only. If the use of AI is increased, we may see that the pendency of courts starts to decrease and the period of a particular case also decrease. Some of the concerns like the protection of data can be conquered, with the help of the Data Protection Bill, so that the data doesn’t get breached. Moreover, as time will pass new technology and laws will appear which will further ease and enhance the use of AI, making it a first step towards a new era of AI. If the AI and human resources are used simultaneously, then it can create a deadly combination as the human resource can effectively tackle the change and the AI can manage the daily menial tasks. So, AI has a very bright future in the field of law which can solve the stressful condition of Indian courts.
Author(s) Name: Harshit Bansal (Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law Patiala, Punjab)
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‘Vital Stats’ (PRS Legislative Research) <https://prsindia.org/policy/vital-stats/pendency-cases-judiciary> accessed 04 January 2022
Shreya Bhattacharya, ‘Artificial Intelligence in the Law Industry: A Boon Or Bane’ (Jus Corpus Law Journal, 22 December 2022) <https://www.juscorpus.com/artificial-intelligence-in-the-law-industry-a-boon-or-bane/> accessed 04 January, 2022
K.S. Puttaswamy v Union of India (2018) 1 SCC 809