Additional District Judge uses ChatGPT tool to strengthen court decision

PHALIA: Additional District & Sessions Judge Muhammad Amir Munir who presides over the Phalia court in Mandi Bahauddin District is using the Artificial Intelligence (AI) tool to ask legal questions before making decisions in civil and criminal matters.

After deciding a pre-arrest bail matter of a juvenile during last month using ChatGPT as research tool for determination of legal questions, the Judge recently tested the potential of the AI software chatbot in improving the quality of judicial decision making.

It is pertinent to mention that the Judge didn’t grant pre-arrest bail to juvenile relying over responses of ChatGPT exclusively but he has applied judicial mind after securing legal information from the AI source.

Granting or refusing application for stay order always requires extra care of a presiding officer of a court including clarity of thought of a judge on law and facts of the case.

Taking up an appeal against Civil Judge dismissal order in response to stay application in a matter, the Additional District & Sessions Judge Muhammad Amir Munir decided to infer more grounds and sought ChatGPT4 response by asking a question, “What are principles to grant injunction in civil cases in Pakistan?”

The AI tool ChatGPT-4 responded very well. After gathering all the information relating to Pakistani laws and jurisprudential approach in the matter the ChatGPT-4 response provided six grounds to grant stay order saying injunctions are an important remedy in civil cases in Pakistan that can be granted by courts to prevent harm or to preserve the status quo. Such six grounds include; presence of irreparable harm, balance of convenience, prime facie case, plaintiff’s good faith, importance of public interest and equitable considerations as the plaintiff has come with clean hands to seek remedy.

Authoring a 21-page verdict in the appeal in hand, the Judge Amir Munir wrote, “These points formulated by the ChatGPT-4 are very impressive as our law of Civil Procedure (Code of Civil Procedure, 1908), developed over the years has also guided the courts to deliberate on these dimensions while deciding such an application, if circumstances so justify”.

He further expressed while citing a number of judgments of the Supreme Court of Pakistan saying, “Generally, for deciding an application for Injunction, we formulate three points for determination, i.e., arguable case, balance of convenience and irreparable loss – The remaining three points shown by the ChatGPT-4 are also within the domain of our statutory laws and precedents developed over the years”. The Judge Amir Munir was of the view that nothing suggested by the ChatGPT-4 is violative of our laws, adding instead, it is helpful in crafting a quality order or judgment by a judge.

Dismissing the appeal in the matter the Additional District & Sessions Judge Amir Munir sent a copy of the verdict to Lahore High Court and Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan. “I deem it necessary to send a copy of the same to Hon’ble Lahore High Court as well as to the Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan to consider discussion on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in this Civil Appeal as a law reform proposal.


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