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"Technology Will Play A Vital Role In The Future Of Legal Education": Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

Sanya Talwar
25 Nov 2020 8:57 AM GMT
Technology Will Play A Vital Role In The Future Of Legal Education: Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad
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While highlighting the need for formulating a legal framework on Digital Ecosystem, the Minister for Communications, Electronics & Information Technology and Law, Ravi Shankar Prasad said that technology is going to play a very important role in the future of Law education.The Union Minister addressed a virtual conference on Wednesday, organised by Jindal Global Law School on the...

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While highlighting the need for formulating a legal framework on Digital Ecosystem, the Minister for Communications, Electronics & Information Technology and Law, Ravi Shankar Prasad said that technology is going to play a very important role in the future of Law education.

The Union Minister addressed a virtual conference on Wednesday, organised by Jindal Global Law School on the topic 'Reimagining & Transforming the Future of Law Schools and Legal Education: Confluence of Ideas During & Beyond COVID-19'.

"Technology is going to be play a very crucial role in the future of Law Education and India must play a leading role in the international legal system," he said.

While touching upon how legal education has  evolved in India, Mr. Prasad said that quality of education in law has improved more with advent of law schools.

"When talking of future of law schools and legal education, we often look back on the freedom movement and realise that Giant leaders were Lawyers who studied from the finest colleges in the country:A career in law opened a new exciting time creating new opportunities. Law schools have played a stellar role in creating a large pool of well trained legal minds," he said.

He then added that law schools must equip students to be trained in the law from a practical lens and a keen desire to practice law must be inculcated in students.

The aspects of how the digital ecosystem helped keep the world together was then highlighted by the Union Minister. He said that India was one of the few countries where the work did not stop at all.

"We liberalized the work from home norms and 85% of the work continuedDuring the pandemic, it was the digital ecosystem which kept the world together. Be it the internet, IT enabled platforms or mobile phones to make digital connectivity simpler and effective, we continued to function in India through these digital systems. The global pandemic has created havoc with the lives, health and safety of people but it has also given us a lot of opportunity. It has created many challenges which require legal solutions. Though this transformation is important in the digital ecosystem, the future of legal education must focus on technology. Technology creates opportunity but it also poses challenges especially for regulation. Law Schools need more adoption of technology related legal education to prepare students for a successful career. It is very important that these challenges must be taught in law schools. Indian students are second to none but they also need proper exposure in global platforms. Understanding of technology related laws is a very important aspect which law schools must focus on," he added.   

"Technology has been widely used for governance in India especially for welfare entitlements. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become the norm and we need to harness it for health, education, agriculture and more but what should be the limit of AI? Should human ethics have a role? What should be the legal architecture of the application of AI?," he said and added that any digital-legal system must not be completely oblivious of the basic time-tested attributes of human behaviour based on ethical values.

On the success of virtual hearings, he said that the High Courts & District Courts of India conducted about 25 lakh digital hearings during pandemic & Supreme Court had around 10,000 hearings digitally. "Virtual Court has been rolled out in more than 7 cities & 25 lakh cases have been disposed of mostly in traffic violation cases," he said.

On the issue of Data economy, he said that the data economy will create other challenges too with issues like: Data economy and taxation, cyber-crimes and jurisdiction, cyber bullying, rogue elements, hacking of data. The internet is a global platform but it has to connect to local ideas, culture and sensitivities. "What should be the architecture of law in these areas?," he asked and then urged students to work in this space cohesively.

India is emerging as a global power, there is a compelling need for India to play its destined role in the international legal system as well, the Union Minister said. "It is very important that students must be taught to think global but remain connected with the local. Local issues and ideas, expectations & people's aspirations all these are important because they have shaped our evolution of constitutional ethos," he added.

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