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The Application Of Artificial Intelligence In The Methodology Of Legal Research

The Law field demands an exceptional expertise in the skill of legal research, for one to reach the top levels. The methodology of legal research has evolved over the years. It has become much easier to access judgments and pending cases in the various Indian courts. The internet boom and the emergence of various websites providing official recognized legal resource, like Manupatra and SCC Online, was a big catalyst in easing legal research.

Before the e-resources, judgments had to be accessed through books on subscriptions basis. Which in itself does not provide the wide amount of information like today's online resource. On 2nd January 2023, the Supreme Court of India launched E-SCr, which provides all judgment of the apex court and all high courts from 1950 to present.

This website is also free and a great help for those who cannot afford these expensive subscription-based websites. Today on the individual websites of the high courts and even district courts, all the judgment and pending cases are easily available. The various tribunals and consumer courts too have their own online portal for easy access. This has been the development of legal research in India for in the recent time.

The Emergence of A.I.

Artificial Intelligence as described by the father of AI himself, Alan Turing, is a artificial system that acts like humans. What this means is a machine capable of thought and the ability to solve problems while learning from past experience. The use of AI had not been done by the normal public for the longest time, but this changed on 30th November 2022, with the introduction of ChatGPT by OpenAI.

ChatGPT, i.e., Chat Generative pre-trained Transformer, is a chat bot powered by artificial intelligence. It provides information to its user in an easily accessible way, by directly chatting with the user. ChatGPT provides answers to any question, solution to various kinds of problems and can even write passages, stories and even lines of computer code. After ChatGPT various other AI chat bots appeared like the AI Bing bot by Microsoft.

These AI bots help in providing information which might be hard to find on the internet and information on things which are hard to put into a google search. What these A.I. bots do is search through the internet for the relevant answer. It understands the problem and then finds the best possible answer.

The amalgamation of AI and Legal Research

The minister recently told parliament in a written submission, "The government is not considering bringing a law or regulating the growth of artificial intelligence in the country".

There is a need for an evolution in legal research. The use of advanced artificial intelligence in finding legal resource. Any judge, advocate, lawyer, and law student would know, how tiresome it is to find a relevant judgment pertaining to the case at hand, to form a strong precedent for your case. Artificial Intelligence could be a breakthrough in easing this task.

A relevant judgment involves many specific characteristics, these can range from its relevancy, the provisions used, the various acts applied and most importantly the complex situation that the judgment in itself is trying to solve. Understanding a specific situation as involved in any case in difficult, what would be even more tough is to explain that situation to an AI bot and enabling it to understand the relevant judgments needed for the instant case.

What makes this even more complex is that to understand a judgment is a tough logical task, it involves high reasoning and the ability to differentiate the relevant parts from the insignificant one's. A judgment might involve facts from a case cited in it or sections which might not be relevant at first but be applicable despite that.

The AI bot will require expert grasp of the sections and articles of the various acts and the interpretation of those by the apex judgments available on them.

How will an Artificial Intelligence system understand judgments?
An AI uses Natural Language processing, which focuses on the interaction of between a computers and human language. It uses deep learning and speech recognition to detect patterns and understand human language through data. The role of NLP is to collect specific piece of information and understand the intent behind it.

To understand the intent. in case of a judgment or an order, the AI would need the relevant knowledge behind it and the implication of that statement on the parties of the case. This means knowing the law deeply to enable its successful application and the identification of the various parties in the case.

The A.I would also need an understanding of customs and precedents which are not codified but prevalent in the in the system. It would also need to compensate for any human errors. Since there could be any contradicting statements between two laws or judgments, the AI would need to present that to the user, to further seek clarification.

The hurdle of Human Emotion and the conflict of ideologies

Judgments are passed by the honorable courts through judges. Judges are humans and are subject to their emotions and their own understanding of the world. This can be seen from the fact that various judges have conflicting opinion in a case of a large bench. If the honorable judges were functioning on purely law and fact bases, this wouldn't have been the case.

Nevertheless, for an A.I to interpret these human factors in a precedent like a judgment would be a tricky task. These human factors are reflected not in plain words but through facts and assessment of law. Statements that may seem like a fact might be imbedded with slight judgment in itself.

AI Tools available today

There are a few rudimentary artificial intelligence powered tools present today like Law Bot Pro, Case IQ by Casemine, etc. Law Bot pro which is an indigenous AI chat bot developed by a 5th year law student from Vivekananda institute of professional studies, helps in finding relevant provisions of various acts that would be applicable in a situation as provided by the user. The accuracy and understanding of the situation are at a high level and the provisions provided by it are relevant. Further Case IQ is a tool specific for orders of the various courts. It helps in finding judgments through text or by a similar judgment provided by the user. The accuracy level to analyze judgments is primitive and the relevancy of the results are low.

The Potential
The potential for an artificial system which can provide relevant judgments, laws and precedents from the extremely vast pith of data and information is immense. It would not only ease the efforts of a lawyer but increase the output to great folds. Law professionals would be able to focus on the more creative side of law.

If, ever, this Ai bot became as effective and efficient as desired, this would not lead to job loss but result in providing justice to all the aggrieved, faster and better. India already has a backlog of humongous pending cases. These AI bots will only increase the productivity per advocate and judge and enable them to earn more while providing accurate justice.

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