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Special Feature

Courting AI, legally!

  • from Shaastra :: vol 01 issue 02 :: Mar - Apr 2022
Researchers are using AI to gain better access to the law.

With the help of Artificial Intelligence, researchers, lawyers and technologists are coming together to facilitate legal services.

A trial is trying in more ways than one. Would-be litigants and lawyers, to begin with, have to know the specific legal provision that a particular case comes under. Then, finally, there is no saying how long a case will take in court, and just what kind of a verdict they will get.

It is a realm where experience is the key. Legal experts, when approached by clients, use their knowledge in handling similar situations in prior cases and identify sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that are relevant for a particular case.

This is by no means an easy task, but Dr Saptarshi Ghosh, a Computer Science Professor at IIT Kharagpur, has developed an Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithm that can assist in zeroing in on past cases related to the relevant sections. Ghosh has added these backgrounders to his AI algorithm by employing a training data set.

"We are trying to simulate the way a lawyer thinks," he says.

The cases are connected in a network, too. "One case cites another," he says. He made use of both text analysis and network analysis in his algorithm to work on hundreds of thousands of case documents collected from the Supreme Court and six major High Courts in the country.


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