Sunday, October 1, 2023

CJI Chandrachud says courts engaging in dialogue with people lead to vibrant, conscious, rights-evolved society 

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Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud has laid importance on courts playing a more dialogic role, saying that when the courts engage in conversations about rights with the people and civil society organisations, such conversations lead to a vibrant, conscious and rights-evolved society.

Delivering a public lecture at the University of Edinburgh’s Law School on the topic Global Change and the Legal Profession, Past and Future: Perspectives from India on June 1, the CJI said that it was not only the Supreme Court, but this synergy that upheld the ideals of the Constitution of India.

Stating that any Supreme Court for that matter was an important segment of the polity in protecting the basic and human rights, the CJI said there was something wider, more profound and fundamental at play in the realisation of rights to citizens.

He said in terms of columns, the structures of governance were extremely crucial. These included the legislature, the executive, the courts, the whole decentralisation of power down to local bodies on one hand, to the setting up of institutions to prevent centralisation of power (on the other). 

However, the citizenry had an equal and vital role to play in the protection of rights, noted CJI Chandrachud. He said it would be overstating the point to say that the courts were the only source of recourse for protection of these rights.

Interacting with the audience after his speech, the CJI, while replying to whether he thought the Supreme Court was the only pillar to uphold the ideals of Constitution, said though courts were very important, but in order to have a truly rights-alert or a right-vibrant society, continuous engagement between the courts, the citizens and the civil society organisations was a must.

He said much of the role the judiciary played was not just in terms of the doctrines that were laid down in the course of deciding cases, but there was a more dialogic role being played by the courts, which was to engage in conversations about rights. 

The CJI added that such conversations about rights which emerged during the course of dialogues with the court, lead to a vibrant, conscious and rights-evolved society.

Right Hon Lord Carloway, Lord President of the Court of Session and Lord Justice General of Scotland, Tanvi Dubey, Advocate, Supreme Court of India and Almira Delibegović- Broome KC, Advocate and Chair of Justice Scotland, were present on the occasion.

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