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Supreme Court judge Justice Sanjiv Khanna on Sunday stressed the need for using simple language in the legal profession to enable the citizens to take informed decisions and avoid unintentional violations. Justice Khanna, speaking at the valedictory session of International Lawyers’ Conference organised by apex Bar body Bar Council of India, said laws were meant to resolve disputes, not become disputed themselves.

He said the question of simplicity of law, i.e., use of language that is understood by common man, required greater attention.

“Is law required to be demystified? Should law be a puzzle that needs to be solved? Laws are meant to resolve disputes, not become disputed themselves. Law should not be mystery to the common man. Law is not written as an edict meant for the legal experts. They apply and govern almost everything in our daily lives and therefore use of simple language is required. This enables the citizens to take informed decisions and avoid unintentional violations. This equally applies to our decisions and judgements,” he said.

Inaugurating the International Lawyers’ Conference here, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said his government is making sincere attempts to draft laws in a simple manner and in Indian languages to the maximum extent, asserting that the language in which laws are written and court proceedings conducted play a key role in ensuring justice.

“The common man should consider the law as his own,” he said.

In his address on Sunday, Justice Khanna noted that commercialisation of litigation and legal professions were of utmost concern.

“Escalating cost of litigation exorbitant fees are formidable barrier to access to justice to ensure, and we must ensure that the justice remains accessible to all,” Justice Khanna said.

As prime stakeholders of the profession, he said, it was imperative for the lawyers and judges to introspect and address the issue of the declining interest in litigation as a career choice.

“We must all survive to revive and preserve certain tradition of the legal professions which means court litigation should be mater of first choice and not the last,” he said.

One of the reasons was low retainership and or stipend being paid to the youngsters and the young lawyers, the apex court judge reasoned.

He further said strong, independent and fair Bar was the hallmark of free and fair society based upon rule of law.

He added that just as the disputes are normal to humans, so are the resolutions.

“If we have cross border trade, we are bound to have disputes. Just as the disputes are normal to humans, so are the resolutions. Cross border trade and commerce requires international law both substantive and procedural for ensuring impartial and fair settlement as well as adjudication. Further we require rules that ensure recognition and quick and easy enforcement,” Justice Khanna said.

  • Published On Sep 24, 2023 at 11:18 PM IST

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