Bridging the Language Barrier

In a significant move towards enhancing access to justice for all, the High Court of Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh has taken a pioneering step by framing guidelines for AI-assisted translation of judgements into vernacular languages. With meticulous planning and execution, this decision will herald a new era of inclusivity and transparency within the legal system of the region. Recognising the linguistic diversity prevalent in the region, the High Court has outlined a comprehensive framework to ensure the seamless translation of legal documents. A Monitoring Committee has been formed and is entrusted with overseeing the implementation of the AI-Assisted Translation Project. Comprising members nominated by the AI-Assisted Legal Translation Advisory Committee, this body will play a pivotal role in ensuring the project’s efficacy. The most important role will be that of a dedicated cadre within the High Court. Spearheaded by officers with both judicial acumen and linguistic proficiency, this cadre is poised to facilitate the translation process efficiently. While awaiting the establishment of this cadre, the Court has astutely tapped into the expertise of retired judicial officers and translators, underscoring its commitment to expeditiously delivering justice.
The adoption of cutting-edge technologies such as SUVAS for AI-assisted translation underscores the High Court’s embrace of innovation. By harnessing the capabilities of AI, the translation process is not only expedited but also maintains a high degree of accuracy. This synergy between tradition and technology exemplifies the forward-thinking approach of the High Court towards legal accessibility. Crucially, the initiative emphasises the democratisation of legal information. Translated judgements will be categorised subject-wise and made readily available to the public, ensuring that legal discourse transcends linguistic barriers. Moreover, the provision for disseminating translated copies to concerned parties and Government Departments underscores the commitment to fostering a more informed and participatory legal ecosystem. By harnessing technology, fostering collaboration, and prioritising inclusivity, the initiative sets a commendable precedent for legal institutions. Such initiatives must continue to evolve, ensuring that justice is truly accessible to all.