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More women lawyers designated Senior Advocates in one go in 2024 than in last 75 years: CJI Chandrachud

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Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud on Saturday said that the current year witnessed designation of 11 women lawyers, highest number of female advocates designated in the past 75 years in one go

Attending the Foundation Day celebrations of the Supreme Court, held in the form of a memorial lecture, Justice Chandrachud said it was a momentous occasion in the history of Supreme Court and the nation that the Supreme Court of India has entered the 75th year of its inception.

Stating that the Apex Court’s founding moment could not be viewed as divorced from the political realities, the CJI said there was a dichotomous yet intricate relationship between law and politics.

As judges, they were constantly combating the questions of justice across various social groups, noted CJI Chandrachud.

He said the topic of the lecture, “The International Court of Justice: A legal forum in a political environment,” reflected the question fundamental to the law and legal systems both domestic and international.

As per the CJI, integrating gender diversity among courts would help ensure better outcomes.

Speaking about ICJ, CJI Chandrachud said it held its first opening session in April 18, 1946.

At that time, one third population of the world, including India, was under Colonial rule, he said, adding that times have changed since.

He quoted the then President of ICJ Joan Donoghue as saying in 2021 that there was a significant change in the composition of the court since it’s inception, which has impacted the functioning of the court and the diversity of cases it adjudicated.

He said last year, they had invited Justice Sundresh Menon, Chief Justice of Singapore Supreme Court, to give the memorial lecture, as they celebrated the Foundation Day of the Apex Court for the first time. This year was special as the Supreme Court of India entered the 75th year of its inception. So, they invited Justice Hilary Charlesworth, a renowned judge of the International Court of Justice.

Speaking about Justice Hilary Charlesworth, he said she was an eminent jurist from Australia, who has made outstanding contributions to the field of International Law. She was appointed a Judge of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) following her election in November 2021.

He said Justice Charlesworth was an esteemed scholar, a pioneering feminist thinker and an old friend, adding that their friendship extended beyond the classroom and helped them navigate the rigours of academics.

Justice Charlesworth has brought the feminist school of jurisprudence into mainstream, says the CJI, who did his LLM and Doctorate of Juridical Science from Harvard Law School.

Speaking on the occasion, Justice Charlesworth said the International Court of Justice can learn from national courts on independence. She said both the ICJ and the SCI operate in a highly charged political environments

She praised the Supreme Court of India, saying that it had a commendable quality of introspection. She added that she wished the SCI a rich and rewarding future.

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