While AI does not displace the role judges, this move is an effort to improve the transparency of justice by improving consistency in the application of the law and to achieve parity in sentencing. This is crucial in preserving public confidence in the courts.
The court enlisted the assistance of SAINS to develop the necessary facilities, software and algorithm and the project commenced in October, 2019. Working closely with the court project team, the AI for Data Sentencing was officially launched on 18 January 2020 in conjunction with the Opening of the Legal Year, 2020.
The AI is currently deployed for only 1 offence i.e. possession of scheduled drugs, an offence under section 12(2) of the Dangerous Drugs Act and punishable under section 12 (3) of the same Act.
On the 19th February 2020, the Magistrate Court in Kota Kinabalu made history in Malaysia when AI for Data Sentencing was used for the first time in cases under section 12(2) of the Dangerous Drugs Act.