The Nigerian judiciary must embrace technology and innovation for the evolution of the profession and national development, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, has said.
Osinbajo said this in a pre-recorded speech on Monday as guest speaker at the 2021 Annual Law Week of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Lagos Branch, themed ‘Disruption, Innovation and The Bar.’
He said the judiciary must ensure that the country’s justice delivery mechanism is run on a system of enforceable, discernible laws and efficient institutions.
He said innovation in the country’s legal profession requires urgency in both thought and action, especially in a world which currently thrives on knowledge economy, and where some jobs, including legal jobs, are being threatened by digitization and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Citing the example of how continuous improvement in the quality of smartphone cameras disrupted global sales of digital camera, the vice president said artificial intelligence “is commonly used to perform tasks such as legal research and due diligence, document and contract review, and the prediction of legal outcomes – these are tasks that would have been performed by lawyers.
“With the continuing progress in technology, it is only a matter of time before the time capsule catches up with us in Nigeria,” he stated while calling for continuous improvement in the institutional capacity of judges, court registries, court staff, and court infrastructure.
As digitalisation has already disrupted other industries, it is possible to predict that AI will go further and disrupt the business model of the legal industry.