This article is written by Siddhi Aggrawal.
Human beings more or less are bone idle: with respect to intellectual work, therefore, always come up with alternate and time-saving routes. We continuously endeavor to discover various approaches in order to satiate ourselves. The Tendency of human beings to find alternatives to every work has been introduced with technology. Artificial Intelligence or technology is an innovation by virtue of which work is done or problem is solved scientifically with proficiency and which also aids to reduce human labour. Men and technology always seem to go hand in hand. For instance, from telephone to smartphones or from pigeons carrying messages to emails and instant messages, technology has evolved our standard of living.
Technology makes sure to provide simple and convenient life to humans. In this technology saturated world: we are completely reliant on technology for each and everything. Elevation in technology has been always at lightning speed and perpetual. Every profession and business are keeping abreast with elevation in technology. While compared to other professions, the legal profession to a certain extent is lagging behind. Though various law colleges, lawyers, judges and paralegals indulge with technology (legal technology) more than ever. However, the question is to what extent legal profession is in pace with advancements in technology. This article refers to the utility of technology in the legal profession and education further, deals with the hardships that the judicial system faces with regards to paucity of technology.
The legal profession is in a position where lawyers and judges are all content with their archaic methods and are loath to get habitual with technology in law. Notwithstanding the fact that application of technology can give legal professions a new dimension. Mythology is that Artificial Intelligence (technology) will probably supersede itself with manpower resources due to which lawyers and judges are vacillating towards it. However, veracity is the relevance of technology is to mitigate encumbrance that human faces and transmogrify strenuous work into facile work.
Humans are prone to make errors: if a judge delivers inappropriate judgment, while lawyers during the litigation process commits mistakes or any of law students have provided a false interpretation of case law during the research process, such errors are non- bearable in a field like law. Aforesaid errors are possible to avoid, only when we are capable of transforming the legal profession in India to “Legal-Tech Profession” and able to replace human intelligence with machine intelligence. Laws can’t be constant with the changing culture and society. Therefore, technology plays a very important role to keep us updated with changes in law. Android Applications (Apps) and websites are not only for entertainment or commercial purposes, but can also be fruitful for the legal profession. Digital India Mission (inaugurated by the Prime Minister), vision was to make India free of corruption and citizen’s tech savvy. Similarly, Artificial Technology also aims to provide the same vision for the India Legal System.
Law Firms and Office Technology
Utilization of technology in every profession must be obligatory to enhance human work further, to make it efficient and proficient. Technology is not merely restricted to the judicial system, but to every line of work in relevance to law. In a globalized world: every enterprise wants to be acknowledged in the International Market. Technology not only assists in interpretation, presentation and analysis of data, but also reinforces communication facilities and helps various law firms to set trends in the Global Market. Moreover, makes a substantial contribution in Corporate and Law Firm with the data processing unit by which data (like research work, client private information and firm information) can be stored in electronic form.
Software like Legal Electronic Billing (e-billing), Clio and Case Management are used for office work in areas like managing client, distributed ledger technology (including block chain), e-commerce, data protection, privacy and cyber security. Law Firms endeavor to provide legal services to their clients digitally through video conferencing or calls, which perhaps is more time-saving, reliable and cost effective for everyone. Furthermore, they are trying hard to cope with technology by going paperless and adopting cloud computing applications, so that they can go with the tide. The Corporate Sector and Law Firm are making utmost efforts to get advanced with technology.
Technology in Legal Education
Professors, providing lectures has always been a conventional mode of teaching in the education system. However, in the 21st century, this conventional mode is run of the mill. Education is getting enhanced with the passage of time, so with Legal Education. Technology is a key instrument for law students doing Research and data analysis in legal education. Legal Research is considered as an important ingredient of law. From a student starting career in law to Supreme Court judges, research is something they can’t get away from. Legal Research includes data analysis and interpretation of various judgements, Statues, acts as well as underscoring manifold social legal issues. Research is a very arduous work. Perhaps, it can be more tedious and monotonous, done only by reading books and various bare acts in a library. Therefore, Technology comes to the rescue through embedding the internet with legal education and prospers to step ahead in a phase of modern education.
E- Libraries, Apps and websites like India Law App, Lawyers Club India, MySteno: virtual Stenographer, Indian Kanoon, Westlaw and Superlawyer.in are notably developed for law scholars thereby making research fascinating and effortless. Various law Colleges grant free access of these apps and websites to students. Lately, blogs have gained more value as it renders academic assistance and not restricted only to personal stories or various writings about food, travelling and fashion. Technology has given education a new structure and wider scope. Education in colleges is not confined to classrooms, libraries and paper tests; use of technology has placed more emphasis on co-curricular activities like legal blogs, essay writing competitions, call for papers, online internships and online quiz with respect to provide greater career opportunities to law students. Despite all these advantages, still many colleges and parents prefer an old conventional mode of teaching and are reluctant toward technology. Hence, lack far behind in terms of advancement in education.
Technology in Judicial System
Notwithstanding Government measures, Judicial System progress in technology is at a snail’s pace. For instance, National Informatics Centre of The Ministry of Information Technology in 1990 introduced with computerization at Supreme Court and 18 High Courts by dint of which various applications like List of Business Information System (LOBIS), JUDIS, Computerization at Filing Counter, COURTNIC and many more provide assistance in order to transform manual work to digital work. The Main objective of this implementation was to make judiciary fallen into step with technology and further, to increase efficiency, time-saving and cost effective. Although, these applications were proposed to assist lawyers and judges, it faces lots of technical issues and the results were non- satisfactory. Similarly, the National Policy and Action Plan in 2005 was proposed by the Supreme Court E-committee for initiation of Information and Communication Technology of our Legal System. The Plan was divided into three phases, each with 5 years’ time span. However, grim reality was, it was a total failure.
Pendency of cases is a major weakness of Indian judiciary, which is further followed by corruption and lack of transparency, been going for centuries. Withal, nowadays courts face many challenges in an area like case preparation, facilities management, hearing process, court information management and a lot more. Initiation of technology is the only antidote that will bring transparency to our legal system and also able to fasten the litigation process in order to reduce pending cases in the courts. Even Chief Justice of India, “Justice Bobde” set forth to inaugurate application of Artificial Intelligence to enable assistance to the judicial system with which enduring cases can be settled.
Countries across the world have perceived the gravity of technology in the legal system. For instance, Turkey is the epitome to enhance technology in the legal system as all the judicial functions are done digitally5. In 2006, The Civil Procedure’s Federal Rules made an amendment to introduce a class of Electronically Stored Information (ESI) in the legal system and mentioned the necessity of lawyers to be tech-savvy. , Country like china becomes 1st nation to establish mobile court and cyber courts; on the other hand Dubai aims to have block chain technology in all government services by 2020., Withal to this U.K., U.S., Malaysia countries aims to go paperless by establishing computer software in subordinate and various state courts and further endeavours to make automated transcriptions (recording proceeding in audio and video format).,, India is still battling to get advanced with technology to some extent in judicial services.
Lawyers, judges and paralegals are all rookies towards technology due to which legal profession is not so developed in terms of technology, therefore, still more preference is given to manual work. Firstly, various training sessions or programs on utilization of technology must be conducted for all lawyers and judges. Programs and sessions must be held under the guidance of either the government or various private bodies so that jurists must willingly be able to adopt technology in their services. Although various plans were initiated by the government, those plans were not successful. Secondly, it’s high time for the government to inaugurate a long term plan with proper funding to have technology in each court, whether subordinate or higher with the only aim to make the judicial system paperless. State government must fall into step with the central government and look over the technical department in each district court. Thirdly, colleges have to come up with Legal Tech Courses to keep students updated with technology, which would further aid students in their legal profession. Such courses must be made mandatory for students.
Moreover, teachers should focus to make students technical pro. The Information Technology Act of India is not as updated as compared with other countries. Fourthly, the legislature or judiciary need to amend existing or introducing new laws to meet the technological changes in society. Fifthly the government should take inspiration from different countries to make the legal system digitally capitalized. Lastly, lawyers, judges and paralegals must be well acquainted with various technological tools like blockchain technology, centralised database, cloud storage and other distributed ledger so that they can merge it with their research and analytical skills.
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