Could Artificial Intelligence Replace Lawyers In Malaysian Courts?

Published date23 February 2023
Subject MatterMedia, Telecoms, IT, Entertainment, Technology, Mobile & Cable Communications, New Technology
Law FirmLee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill
AuthorMr G. Vijay Kumar and Nicole Shieh E-Lyn

'AI program earned passing bar exam scores in evidence and torts law exams..'

'Robot lawyer to use AI in Court for the first time...'

'ChatGPT as a replacement for human lawyers?

Colombian judge says he used ChatGPT in ruling'

These headlines are dominating the news - and they are not clickbait!

An artificial intelligence ("AI") program, ChatGPT-3.5, has passed the evidence and torts sections of a multiple-choice, multistate Bar exam.1 This development comes on the heels of a law school dean co-authoring a 14-page law article in one hour with the assistance of ChatGPT.2 Without the assistance of AI, this task could have taken weeks, if not months. Meanwhile, a judge in Colombia used ChatGPT as a tool in his judgment in an insurance case.3

For the first time in history, there were plans for an AI legal assistant, dubbed the "world's first robot lawyer", to take on a case in a United States court to help a defendant fight a traffic ticket case.4 Created by DoNotPay, the AI would have run on a smartphone and listened to court arguments in real-time, before telling the defendant what to say via an earpiece. Any fines imposed would have been covered by DoNotPay.

The AI will not automatically react to everything it hears in court. Instead, it would listen to the arguments and analyse them, before providing instructions on how to respond. The company's ultimate goal is to have AI replace some lawyers altogether, saving litigants money. However, DoNotPay subsequently announced that those plans will be halted for now, due to concerns about the legality of the usage of AI in Court.5

Nonetheless, the proposal of utilising AI to represent litigants in court, altogether replacing lawyers, is an interesting prospect and is certainly one worth examining.

Can AI replace lawyers in Malaysian courts?

We know that AI already plays an increased role in the criminal sentencing of defendants in Malaysia. In February 2020, a Sabah court used AI to help mete out a sentence in a drug possession case.6 This case was a pioneer effort towards plans to provide judges and judicial officers with AI to minimise disparity in criminal sentences.7

The million-dollar question is - could AI eventually replace a lawyer in Malaysian courts altogether?

Right of audience

In Malaysia, only an Advocate and Solicitor of the High Court who is a 'qualified person' under the Legal Profession Act 1976 and holds a valid practising certificate has a right of audience in court.8

AI systems are not legal...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT