Justice Without Delay: Recommendations for Legal and Institutional Reforms in the Indian Courts
73 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2010 Last revised: 3 Mar 2015
This Report follows up on discussions that took place at the Seminar on Delays in the Indian Legal System: Legal, Judicial and Institutional Reforms held on 19 February 2010 at Jindal Global Law School in Sonipat, Haryana. The Report provides the following: I. A Literature Review surveying key historical and contemporary perspectives relating to addressing delays in the Indian legal system. It will provide a summary of the constitutional and statutory pre-commitments relating to access to justice, and draw attention to the diagnoses of the causes of delays provided by various committees, commissions, judgments by courts and other academic writings. It includes major initiatives by the state and central governments, as well as by the judiciary in addressing delays. II. The proceedings of the Seminar on Delays in the Indian Legal System: Legal, Judicial and Institutional Reforms, highlighting the advice of judges, practitioners, politicians, economists, and social scientists who are sensitive to the intricacies of these problems, and the likely impact of proposed solutions. III. The Targeted Recommendations of its authors, a committee of Indian and international legal scholars. These are: 1. Empirical research and data collection to be conducted on the functioning of lower courts, the regional and disaggregated data, and performance of various courts; 2. Clarification of, and easy access to, precedents and laws; 3. Provision of ADR measures and pre-trial counseling/dispute resolution measures; 4. Restructuring Incentives and Sanctions on various stakeholders, introducing penalties and costs on parties that contribute to delay after a prescribed time frame; 5. Targeted Amendments to Legislation and Codes; 6. Introduction of a case management system, provision of adequate training in a decentralised manner, conducting of periodic assessment, administrative support and development; 7. Recruitment of more judges, an increase in resources to attract a competent judiciary at a greater strength and their distribution in a targeted manner to areas of the country with the highest arrears; 8. Introduction of Internet technology in reduction of paper work along the lines of the model of e-courts in New Delhi; 9. Introduction of specialised, as well as fast track courts; and 10. Implementation of a National Litigation Policy and Implementation of a National Arrears Grid.
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