Issue 7: Paperless courts, soaring investment activity
Digitisation efforts are bringing results in the Supreme Court and Orissa HC, global legal tech investment activity reaches record levels, and more legal tech news from India and abroad.
In this issue of the digest, we report on the success of recent digitisation efforts in Indian courts, with examples from Supreme Court and Orissa High Court.
Paperlessness is also being adopted in law schools, with NLSIU Bangalore planning to digitise its entire law library.
In the online dispute resolution segment, Mumbai-based Presolv360 has raised a $1.08 million investment in seed capital.
There are also significant stories from around the world with relevance to the Indian market. Legal tech investments have reached a new all-time high, and a new general-purpose markup language has been launched to make legal documentation more machine accessible.
From the vanguard 🚀
Supreme Court saves 1.5 crore paper sheets a year.
Recent initiatives taken up at the Supreme Court have saved ~1.5 crores per year, as reported by Bar & Bench here.
These initiatives include shifting all judicial filings from legal paper to A4-sized paper sheets and allowing printing on both sides of the paper.
Reducing margin, line spacing requirements, and the number of petition/application copies required to be submitted have contributed to saving over half a crore of paper sheets per year.
Presolv announces fundraise of $1.08 million in seed round
Presolv360, the Mumbai-based ODR platform, raised $1.08 m in seed funding.
The investment came from MGA ventures and Omidyar Network India (ONI). ONI in particular is focused on investing in the legal tech sector in India (see: ONI’s legal tech thesis).
The seed funding of approx ₹8 crores will reportedly be used for product development, client acquisition, and team growth.
Madhya Pradesh Legal Aid Authority launches new software for victim compensation
Madhya Pradesh’s Legal Aid Authority has launched a new “victim compensation software module”. The software aims to bring transparency and accessibility for victims of crimes.
More details here.
NLSIU Bangalore to digitise its law library
NLSIU Bangalore is reportedly preparing to digitise its library of over 70,000 educational materials.
The move is expected to create better information flows and retrieval processes for students and researchers and help curb piracy. More here.
Market research and insights 💡
87% GCs heavily involved in active legal tech planning, 33% have advanced legal tech roadmaps
A new report by FTI Consulting & Relativity reports key findings regarding the attitudes and outlook of General Counsels towards legal tech adoption.
The report highlights various challenges GCs face in terms of tech-preparedness and indicates their general attitudes and approaches towards tech adoption. It also indicates increased involvement of General Counsels in technology decision making, and believe that legal department efficiency to be a “critical area”.
Around the world 🌍
Legal tech investments reach record levels
Legal tech investments between 1-3 March 2022 have surpassed the investments made in the entire month of Feb 2022.
2021 was the busiest and the best year for legal tech ever in its history, with approximately $3.5 billion invested in legal tech and NewLaw. Artificial Lawyer has covered this in detail here.
A new general-purpose markup language for legal documentation
London-based Nivaura and the GLML foundation have launched a general-purpose markup language (GLML) plugin.
The plugin helps non-technical professionals (such as lawyers) annotate legal documents to be machine-readable. The plugin can be used from inside Microsoft Word.
This follows the launching of the GLML foundation, a non-profit foundation working to build documents that lawyers can mark up to ensure better data structuring in legal documentation and that data needs are met for downstream participants and systems.
Justice Technology Association (JTA) launches to support Justice Tech companies
Justice Technology Association (JTA), a new non-profit body, announced it has kicked off operations. The JTA has been formed to act as a common voice for innovations, citizens, investors, and policymakers working to address the access to justice crisis.
Founding companies include HelloDivorce, Courtroom5, People Clerk, and more. The advisory board includes a number of VCs, impact investors, academicians, innovators, and journalists.
Essential readings 📚
Orissa High Court is Leading the Way in Digitising the Judiciary
In an insightful article published in The Wire, the author Ashutosh Mishra takes us through how the Orissa High Court is leading the digitization of court records, made possible by efficient use of technology.
The digitization processes and workflows now in place to make the court paperless now allow judges to read scanned and bookmarked copies of case files on customized ‘Wacom’ e-reading devices, helping increase the speed and efficiency with which they can go through the case files.
Anupam Patra, in charge of the record digitization project, is optimistic that more and more Indian courts will follow suit and become paperless. will accelerate further in the days to come and more and more courts will become paperless.
Read the full article at The Wire.
Understanding budgets on e-Courts and Judicial Infrastructure
This recommendation comes from Twitter spaces hosted by Civis & Justice Hub. The hosts spoke with members of the Justice, Access and Lowering Delays Initiative (JALDI) at Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy.
This is in further context to our earlier report on the launch of their “Budgets for Justice” platform.
The audio recording reveals some interesting insights and perspectives about how the budget is being allocated for the infrastructure development for the judiciary at both centre and state levels. Key insights include some of the most basic amenities missing from Indian courts, misunderstandings, and arbitrary allocations of funds.
A written summary of the conversation can be accessed here.
That's all for this issue, folks. See you again in two weeks.
Originally published here.