Artificial Intelligence Powered Justice System in Pakistan?

Legal professionals and judges can use AI technology to uncover patterns and trends that occur frequently and might otherwise go undetected.

In his thorough judgement in a case involving pre-arrest bail for a minor, Judge Mohammad Munir of the Mandi Bahauddin district court acknowledged the potential impact artificial intelligence could have on Pakistan’s legal system. With the support of ChatGPT 4, the case was resolved. Judges and legal professionals can benefit from the technology’s ability to spot developments and patterns that might otherwise go undiscovered.

Our case backlog is an appealing opportunity for AI since it has the ability to enhance efficiency in making decisions while significantly decreasing the amount of work of judges. The judiciary must proceed cautiously on the journey towards automation, notwithstanding the assurances of effectiveness and rapidity. In Pakistan, where the court system is still developing, there are a number of ethical, legal, and societal ramifications of using AI that should be taken into account.

As objective as the information they are taught, AI systems are. The system will reinforce biases if the data does contain them. This is especially troubling given the prejudices against various groups of the population, such as minorities and women, present in Pakistan’s legislation and judicial precedents today. Imagine a nation where the two-finger rape test was abolished only two years ago using AI to decide cases simply based on the evidence. It is true that Pakistan’s legal system might become more consistent with AI-powered decision-making. However,’ stare decision (following precedent) is not the only standard of justice; rather, the law ought to be established/altered sympathetically and in accordance with society’s shifting requirements. In the present unregulated context, blind adherence to data that AI provides carries the potential of demeaning the algorithm and sustaining biases.

Second, even for specialists, systems powered by AI can be challenging to comprehend and explain. This is not meant as a criticism of Mr Munir, who wrote the judgement using solely ChatGPT 4 as inspiration and not in the capacity of a judge. Unless given instructions, it may not be expected of all judges to utilise it with equal caution. The lack of transparency in AI’s use makes it challenging to establish whether the judgements rendered by the algorithm are just in the absence of legislation and unambiguous standards. Given the strong public mistrust of the legal system, it is crucial that AI be incorporated into an approach that promotes openness in order to sustain public trust.

The complexity and ambiguity of Pakistan’s legal system also raise questions regarding accountability. Who is accountable if a decision made by an AI system is incorrect? Without thoughtful regulation, the arrival of AI would make it more difficult to hold people accountable. Additionally, in a system where choices are made without human involvement, the fundamental values of proper procedure and the ability to receive a fair trial would be jeopardised.

Increased surveillance and data privacy are two more clear ethical issues. The Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act of 2019 and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (Re-Organisation) Act of 1996, which make up the majority of the current legal framework for data privacy and surveillance, are already facing criticism for their potential threat to civil liberties, their ambiguity, and their inadequate protection of citizens’ data.

In order to make legal judgements, any AI system incorporated into Pakistan’s judicial system would need to be trained on and given access to vast amounts of personal data, which could result in further privacy violations. Apart from its potential to monitor and track people in courtrooms, their movements, behaviour, and speech patterns to foresee criminal behaviour or assess the risk of recidivism, we are currently unaware of all aspects of the practicality and potential of AI in courts. This might result in more constant monitoring and manipulation of people. It is essential to make sure AI integration respects people’s rights and liberties.

The issues mentioned above do not mean that AI cannot be applied to the legal system. Instead, to employ AI in courts with no hitch, we must first control, explain, and understand how it is used.

The transition to an AI-powered judicial system necessitates the introduction of an AI system that is built and trained on objective data and the establishment of well-thought-out policies that promote openness and accountability while also acknowledging the drawbacks of utilising AI in courts.

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