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The Emerging Artificial Intelligence Legal-Judicial System’s Interface: Assessing the State of Nigeria’s Judicial System’s Readiness for a Revolution

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posted on 2024-06-21, 09:59 authored by Olalekan Bello, Cecile Ogufere

The revolutionary trend of artificial intelligence (AI) and its potential to become pre-eminent in all facets of life is no longer a subject of debate. Rather, the question is, to what extent will AI become the determinant of the global juridical-legal systems?

With a specific focus on Nigeria’s judicial-legal system, this article explores the intersection and potential impact of AI as a paradigmatic shift in technology. Starting with the evaluation of the current state of Nigeria’s judicial system’s existing infrastructure and technological capabilities, we attempt to unpack the level of awareness, understanding, engagement with, and acceptance of AI among judges, legal professionals and general public.

Highlighting the increasing importance of AI in various sectors, we examine the potential benefits of integrating AI into the Nigerian judicial system, including, among others, increased efficiency, improved access to justice and enhanced decision-making processes. We also explore the challenges associated with the adoption of AI in the legal sector, including ethical considerations, data privacy and job displacement. This is in cognisance of the result from a polling at the 2019 Doha Debates on AI showing a majority of online voters (53 per cent) forecasting exponential intensification in global inequalities and apocalypse for humanity in the era of AI’s pre-eminence. However, drawing on Muthoni Wanyoike’s ‘Mindful Optimism’3 thesis on AI, we advocate for legal and judicial systems’ embrace of, and adaptation to, AI’s technological advancements.

Although AI stands to be disruptive in the human sphere, as a human construct it must be taken as a quantum leap in human thinking and a reflection of the progress of human intelligence. Therefore, for lawyers and the judicial system, the case should not be antagonism towards or embrace of AI’s presumed destructive force, but rather finding new ways of engineering the regulation of society through AI machines with negligible social disruption. Against this background, we suggest recommendations for the Nigerian judicial system to effectively navigate the integration of AI into its operations. These should see enhanced digital infrastructure, development of AI-specific policies and regulations, investment in education and training for judges and legal professionals and the fostering of public trust and acceptance of AI technologies. We conclude by advocating that the Nigeria’s judicial system should be reviewed with a view to aligning with the technological revolution driven by AI. By addressing the challenges and implementing the recommended strategies, Nigeria can harness the potential of AI to transform its legal and judicial systems and improve access to justice for its citizens.

History

Author affiliation

College of Social Sci Arts and Humanities Leicester Law School

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Commonwealth Cybercrime Journal

Volume

2

Pagination

6 - 24

Publisher

The Commonwealth

eissn

2959-3026

Copyright date

2024

Language

en

Deposited by

Dr Olalekan Bello

Deposit date

2024-06-17

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