Judiciary eyes  artificial intelligence  in justice delivery

Judiciary eyes artificial intelligence in justice delivery

THE Judiciary is investing heavily in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) system to enable the pillar of state, among others, to adopt the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for speeding up dispensation of justice to the public.

This was revealed by Chief Justice (CJ) of Tanzania, Prof Ibrahim Juma at a press conference in Dar es Salaam Friday ahead of Law Day celebrations to be marked at national level on February 1, 2022 at Chinangali grounds in the capital city -Dodoma.

According to the CJ, the Law Day, to be officiated by President Samia Suluhu Hassan, will be held under the theme ‘the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution: A Journey of Improvements towards the E-Judiciary. 

The theme, he said, carries the memory of the long journey of the Judiciary of the Court of Tanzania, in moving justice services be closer to the citizens.

Prof Juma explained that starting this year the Judiciary will continue to seek answers on two key questions, including how Artificial Intelligence will support the work of the Judiciary, judges, magistrates and all stakeholders in the justice delivery chain.

“We will also look at what is needed to be done to make Artificial Intelligence more effective in providing justice in a friendly and easy way in languages that most stakeholders will understand. The Judiciary intends to abolish the current practice of taking proceedings and evidence manually” he said.

The Chief Justice revealed that the Judiciary has reached a good step in obtaining Artificial Intelligence transcription and translation software which would record proceedings and evidence and put the same in writing and translate it where necessary.

“This system should be programmed to recognise Kiswahili language and various Swahili accents, vocabulary used in Courts and its pronunciation so that it can capture the proceedings accurately. To achieve this you need audio or video recordings as well as transcript,” he said.

The CJ also revealed that in order to collect Kiswahili language vocabulary used in Courts, on December 23, 2021, the Principal Judge instructed judges and magistrates in charge to ensure all ongoing proceedings at all levels are recorded using audio recording equipment installed in Court rooms.

“At the end of each day, each clip recorded in one hour must be sent to the Director of Case Management. The aim is to ensure that the Judiciary receives Artificial Intelligencetranscription and translation software that will take proceedings and evidence for transcribing,” he said.

Prof Juma also told journalists that there would be a Law Week prior to the Law Day celebrations to be held at Nyerere Square between January 23 and 29, 2022, a session which would be preceded by a procession with Zanzibar President Dr Hussein Ali Mwinyi presiding over as the chief guest.

During the Law Week, the CJ said, several legal education sessions would be held by judicial officials and others stakeholders on a number of areas, including procedures for filing and conducting cases.

They would receive complaints and recommendations on improving legal services. He pointed out that this year’s theme prepares stakeholders in the legal sector to understand that the Judiciary and the entire justice dispensation system are moving towards not only total use of technology but also reaping benefits from major investment made in Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

“In these times when technology is driven by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, it is also a good time for the Judiciary and all stakeholders in the justice chain to begin the journey towards e-judiciary,” the Chief Justice said.


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