In a remarkable push for increased legal accessibility, the Supreme Court of India’s translation project saw incredible progress in 2023. Starting with just 2,238 judgments translated in January, the initiative surged forward to achieve astounding results by year’s end, surpassing 31,000 translated rulings. This phenomenal success can be attributed to a potent synergy: the deployment of AI tools paired with the expertise of retired High Court judges and their diligent law clerks.
Previously spearheaded by Chief Justice Bobde, who introduced AI tools and the Supreme Court Vidhik Anuvaad Software (SUVAS), the project reached new heights under Chief Justice Chandrachud’s leadership. The key difference-maker? Enlisting the services of former High Court judges and their law clerks. This experienced cohort readily tackled the challenge of correcting AI-generated translations, ensuring accuracy and adherence to legal nuances. This invaluable combination of human expertise and technological efficiency propelled the project forward, bridging the crucial language gap and bringing legal knowledge closer to millions across India.
However, despite the impressive pace, challenges remain. Questions linger about the utilization of these translated judgments and the standardization of legal vocabulary across diverse regional languages. Nevertheless, the year 2023 has witnessed a significant milestone in democratizing access to justice in India. With continued efforts and collaborative spirit, the Supreme Court’s translation project holds immense promise for a more inclusive and equitable legal landscape.