The study of criminology has been advancing in the necessary footsteps since time immemorial. The excessive crime rate in the world is increasing at an alarming rate with peculiar and unique cases coming to the fore. There is reinvention in bringing out evidence through technological advancements which will help make the court process and judicial system much more efficient.
The crime rates across the globe amount to a whole lot. Numerous motives, numerous suspects, and countless victims. How do we redact it? Will the count ever lessen?
In an ideal world, all the law forces would stop the perpetrator before the crime occurs, wear superhero capes and save the world from eternal damnation. Realistically, if we would want a world of peace, that will be too much to ask.
One might say it’s the bare minimum, and yes, there is truth to it. Peace is a right every person must have and it’s a necessity to live harmoniously with oneself and society. On the other hand, our world is rife with conflict, war, and bloodshed. The expenses of this violence lead to economic instability.
This began to be identified as one of the most criminal motives, these days the judicial system looks to put criminals behind bars, but how will things pan out in the future?
Possible Crime Trends in the Future
Before delving into the possibilities of how future cases are handled, let us look into the latest crime trends.
As of 2023, according to WorldPopulationReview, the stats show that the highest crime rate in the world amounts to about 83.76, which is in Venezuela, followed by many countries. As of August 5, 2022, Pakistan runs about 15.2% of becoming a country prone to mass genocide followed by India with a near 14.4%.
Murder is a crime that is often viewed with a scorned eye. It is not exactly pleasant and doesn’t bring you glory. Lots of movies represent that. Feelings of distaste, horror, and judgment even before the verdict is brought forth.
This is when we look at how we handle this in the future. Murder trials are as dramatic in real life as they portray in the movies. According to statista.com, most of the dangerous cities where murder is more prevalent are in Latin America. However, in the context of 2022, the most murders happened in the city of Tijuana in Mexico with an average of 138 people out to approximately 100,000 people.
Let us contemplate the possible future scenarios now that we got the basis of stats on criminal activities.
Realistically, one may not accurately predict the future scenarios of how criminal trends might pan out. In theory, it’s impossible to outright come and guess what kind of crimes can be committed in the future. Will murder be popular? Or shall female domestic violence? Will bank robbery decrease because of a killer’s increasing fascination with murder?
We do not know any of this for sure. These are just theories with no evidence to back them up. However, there is something that can be predicted and expected in future courtrooms and the methods taken up to bring justice to the disastrous aftermath posed by heinous crimes.
The methods employed by the courtroom to solve cases might change drastically in the coming future. Let’s look into some of these possible contemplations that can take place in the forthcoming future.
AI Technology had become an integral part of legal firms and courtrooms for collecting evidence to speed up the process of solving cases. AI plays a crucial role in the lives of humans so it shouldn’t be a surprise that they are used in legal procedures too.
Digitization of Courts
How does this happen? To the naked eye, it might seem that courts may be shifted to virtual platforms and cases can be adjourned there. That’s one such abstract perspective.
However, complete digitization of courts does not take place.
In such scenarios, it is noted judiciaries are moving from paper-based mediums to electronic-based mediums. They also use the technology of video software mode which allows witnesses, victims, and important distinguished persons related to the case to take part in the court proceedings.
AI’s role in such a context is to help the judiciary or the court in the process of decision-making. As we know, the court gives out verdicts that decide if the criminal is guilty or not, the use of technology will help legal officials to take better decisions with the reduction in eruption of controversies.
AI plays a crucial role in time-consuming legal and court cases. The cases are related to a country like India, where evidence often goes missing or there is no evidence to prove the guilty or not guilty. The expertise of AI would help in speeding up the process and providing justice to concerned parties just in time.
The structure of a physical court is intricate and complex. There are a lot of people working towards the verdict and a lot of legal procedures. How does AI intervene through this interwoven setup and prove to be useful?
The AI machinery can be used to act as an “assistant” to court judges. This way they can efficiently look through evidence and documents and file them diligently. Their mechanical aspect also helps make the process of seeking justice and filing the verdict much more efficient without hassles.
This doesn’t generally mean overthrowing and enforcing technology and the electronic medium on top of the legal paperwork which makes the system of law unique, this is to enable the justice seekers to gain satisfaction and relief over what they had endured.
This way judges can identify the areas which the legal firms or lawyers have missed and come to a decision without any bias and the objective means of evidence is handed in to produce a verdict.
Advanced Levels: In such a scenario, the AI takes up the responsibility of analyzing a case, summarizing the events, and coming to an unbiased conclusion which helps the jury in taking quick actions to close down a case. It also has this innate ability to draft resolutions and decisions for the jury to review.
Control: The combination of the judge’s final verdict and the expertise of AI with its advanced ability to interpret and give out a resolution will serve us better in the future.
Law Structure in 2025 and Beyond
The paperwork in law remains to be the most tedious work when it comes to managing shreds of evidence and case files. According to home.kmpg, there seems to be a change in how the legal firms work, and one of the common changes that will take place is the reading of data.
Reading data doesn’t only involve skimming the given paperwork. It involves equal attention as an offering and reading legal terms. Data is read and thoroughly analyzed with no stone left unturned.
Following this medium will probably be more efficient as this makes sure the legal decision taken, is the right one, always seeking justice and the truth.
Importance of Client Experience
Solving cases by employing lawyers is portrayed to be for the lawyer’s benefit and the client’s needs at times are disregarded. Of course, this generalization is made through the source of media and movies.
The profession of law/lawyers is almost glorified, and a popular choice to be successful. What one tends to forget is how it is also a service that needs to be tended to. Therefore, client experience and satisfaction are factors that will be prioritized.
This involves a user-centric experience, and the client shall be the centre of gain. Although, in a materialistic world, where one is itching to be ahead of the pecking order, such an idealistic notion is impossible. However, to disregard it as entirely impossible will be an early scrutiny on our part.
Machines and Technology
As we have discussed earlier, the contrast between digital courts and physical( digital: i.e used for small legal cases which do not require time-consuming procedures.) It only involves solving small disputes and conflicts between rural people or disputes between farmers.
Technology is our future. Be it in terms of solving future cases and the law structure that may evolve, the digital jigsaw puzzle is something that had stuck with us ever since the modernist era.
Changes that may take place may be possible for robots or AI software to make calculated decisions and make sure cases get solved with no unfairness on either side. Judges could use an assistant in helping them draft resolutions and come to fair decisions.
Richard Susskind’s Views
There are so many factors that can change in the world of law, some that may remain dormant and constant. Let’s look into the overview of how the field of law changes.
To examine this, let us take the views of Richard Susskind’s The Future of Law. He is said to be the most reliable source as his works are one of the most cited in legal frameworks.
In Richard’s The Future of Law, he predicted that everyone involved in the law firms i.e. lawyers and clients would communicate through the mail and electronic medium. This was shocking and mysterious to people who had only believed in the traditional system of law which only involved courts, judges, clients, and lawyers.
Online Courts and the Future of Justice
This is another one of the works produced by Richard contemplating the future of law structure. In this particular work, he focuses on the aspect of technology. He debates how technology brings about a change in the world of the legal sector and transforms its traditionality.
1. Online Courts: In an era of change, major predictions which might stand the test of time are online courts. Cases can be continued to be fought in the online medium and they might grow to be popularly used, not just be accepted. In the future, old traditional systems shall inevitably be broken.
2. Access: In theory, the legal system is only known to about 46% of the population. Therefore, the coming of online courts will help increase the accessibility rate. The notion of why courtrooms are used and public disputes will be made more aware thanks to the online platforms, and the general public will be educated on the judiciary process.
3. “Outcome Thinking”: Posited by Richard, this form of technological medium involves the transformation of the former legal system. It involves using technology to solve disputes and come up with decisions and resolutions. This gives an edge and an advantage of sorts to the people, where the case concerning them will be solved pretty quickly instead of waiting for long-drawn and set court dates.
Future of Lawyers
The strides and changes that took place in the legal system were to improve the condition of lawyers. Therefore, technological advancements were made to directly benefit the lawyers. Over time, we are learning to accept the inclusion of technology into the legal system.
Heading into the future, it is important for lawyers to not completely lose their careers and passions to the electronic world.
One of the biggest challenges in the world of law is the existence of law schools and their generation of lawyers. With a very traditional and old system adopted, the lawyers that were generated were of the 20th century in the modernist era of the 21st century.
New mindsets and beliefs were set. New ideologies were coming up with the kind of heinous crimes that were being committed. This way, 20th-century lawyers have no way to apply their thinking mindsets to the way things have been viewed in the 21st century. Of course, one may argue that both eras are similar in thinking but that’s not the case. Change is constant, and especially in a rigid and orthodox system like law, modern techniques are required to reform the system.
Another possible resolution is the amount of paperwork needed to be analyzed by a young set of lawyers. In this case, the employment of AI and robots who help in legal works. This way the workload on young lawyers is lessened and they could focus on more specific work which requires more strategies and skillsets. This way, technology will not also completely manoeuvre the law system.
The last of Richard’s views is the coordination of lawyers and technology. The world of law will benefit more from this collaboration with the results and decision-making becoming more efficient and fair.
Criminology Through the Lens of Law
The study of criminology sets up the cases in the legal system of the world. Therefore, the more efficient the detective/police work, the better it is to solve cases as a legal constituency.
Let us take the example of a very well-known international case.
A very well-known case study is of serial killer Ted Bundy and his horrifying murders in the 90s. He wreaked havoc and killed innocent females. Let’s not get into the specifics of the whole crime but let’s look into how the case was solved.
This case was documented clearly by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. As a whole overview, it wasn’t easy to find the killer by the clues that were found. With very little forensic evidence the police were able to piece together links. This was done through profiling by drawing the features of the suspect.
Soon, the suspect was caught in the act and was arrested. The trial and law process, however, was complicated and long drawn which is expected in the 90s with the evolution of the law system.
Ted Bundy was looked at as a romanticized hero despite the crimes he had committed. This was frustrating for the legal system, where he put on a show and went ahead to talk to the jury directly. If Ted Bundy were to do that this day, it would be scandalous and problematic.
One might also look into how the prosecution team worked to bring this case into their hands but it is also admirable how the defence team fought equally with all evidence and proof to win the side in their favour, of course, this would mean a killer walking away free, but that’s how the legal system works, we are all persuaders and convincers here.
This might not have been how laws work in the future, but this gave us an overview of how things were tied up in the past in terms of legal frameworks.
The world of law is fraught with confusion and complexity. With the forthcoming change, it is safe to say that the traditionally transfixed system is slowly evolving. Technology lessens the burden and makes things easier for us and for us to live.
Law is the mediating position between the tussle between science and religion. It relies on evidence but at the same time holds onto old beliefs and assumptions. In the future, this tussle will go on, the legal system balancing between technology and stereotypical traditions.