Although Pakistan has always been slow to adopt new technologies, the country’s legal system is currently transforming as a result of technology’s growing influence. The recent use of ChatGPT, an AI model created by OpenAI, by a Pakistani judge to make a court decision is one notable exception to this slow adoption (Gulf News, 2023).
This cutting-edge use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the courtroom highlights how technology has the potential to revolutionize Pakistan’s legal system while also raising concerns about the various technology laws in the country as a whole.
By automating routine tasks like document review and legal research, which can speed up the adjudication process, AI is revolutionizing the legal profession. By using AI-driven tools like ChatGPT, the backlog of cases weighing down Pakistan’s judiciary could be reduced, ultimately resulting in a more effective and accessible justice system. Thoughts about biases in AI algorithms and the potential loss of human empathy in the judicial process are also raised by the integration of AI in the legal field.
Pakistan has been steadily developing its technology laws in response to these technological advancements to address the particular difficulties presented by AI and other innovations.
The 2016 Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) is one of the key pieces of legislation in this field. In the digital age, this Act aims to combat cybercrimes and safeguard people’s rights to privacy. It covers a variety of offenses, such as intrusion into computer systems without authorization, cyberstalking, and online harassment.
The Personal Data Protection Bill, which aims to regulate the gathering, handling, and storing of individuals’ personal data, is another important piece of legislation. This proposed law would grant people the right to access, modify, and delete their personal data while also requiring that data controllers and processors uphold strict standards of data protection.
The government has also established several institutions to support the advancement and control of technology in the nation in addition to these laws. Some of the important organizations charged with supervising and facilitating technological advancements include the National Telecommunication Corporation (NTC), Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB), and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).
Despite the efforts made by Pakistan to modernize its technology laws, there are notable shortcomings in addressing the ethical and social implications of AI use within the legal system. These gaps require urgent attention to ensure the responsible and equitable integration of AI in the country’s judiciary.
One of the key concerns is the need for specific regulations to ensure transparency, unbiasedness, and accountability in AI algorithms deployed in the legal sector. Transparency is crucial to prevent the misuse of AI, enabling stakeholders to understand the underlying processes and make informed decisions.
In addition, unbiasedness is essential in preventing discrimination and upholding the principles of fairness and justice. Establishing clear guidelines for the development, deployment, and auditing of AI algorithms can help ensure that they are designed and used in a manner that upholds these values.
Accountability is another crucial aspect of AI integration in the legal system. It is important to establish a robust framework that assigns responsibility for the outcomes of AI systems, thereby protecting citizens’ rights and ensuring recourse in case of errors or injustices. This framework should include provisions for regular assessments, certifications, and compliance checks for AI algorithms, as well as clear liability rules for developers, users, and other stakeholders involved.
Additionally, Pakistan needs to strike a balance between leveraging AI to enhance the efficiency of the legal system and preserving the role of human decision-making in the judicial process. While AI can streamline various administrative tasks, conduct legal research, and even assist in predicting case outcomes, it is imperative to maintain the primacy of human judgment in legal matters, especially in sensitive cases with far-reaching consequences. This balance can be achieved by establishing clear boundaries for AI’s role in the judiciary and ensuring that its use does not encroach upon human discretion, particularly in areas where empathy, cultural understanding, and moral reasoning are essential.
To address these challenges, Pakistan should consider developing a comprehensive legal and regulatory framework that encompasses all aspects of AI use in the legal system. This framework should be based on international best practices and guidelines, promoting cooperation with other countries and global organizations to share knowledge, experiences, and resources.
Furthermore, capacity-building and education programs for legal professionals, policymakers, and other stakeholders should be established to foster a deeper understanding of AI’s capabilities and limitations, as well as the ethical and social implications of its use in the legal system.
In conclusion, a new era of legal innovation has begun as a result of Pakistan’s growing use of technology in the legal sector, as demonstrated by a Pakistani judge’s innovative use of ChatGPT. Although the nation has made strides in creating technology laws and putting in place pertinent institutions, there is still a need to deal with the special problems presented by AI and other technological advancements in the legal field.
Pakistan must also make sure that the regulatory framework and ethical considerations keep up with these innovations as it continues to embrace the potential of technology to change its legal system.
About the Author: Adam Jabbar is a lawyer specializing in technology and cyber laws. He has also authored two books on Amazon, including an international best-seller, and advises tech firms, government agencies, and international organizations.