CJI Chandrachud bats for equitable access to legal education

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New Delhi, Feb 3 (IANS) Batting for equitable access to legal education, Chief Justice of India (CJI) D.Y. Chandrachud on Saturday said that admissions processes to law schools should not only consider academic performance but also factors such as socioeconomic background, diversity, and life experiences.

Delivering an inaugural address at 2024 Commonwealth Attorneys and Solicitors General Conference (CASGC), CJI Chandrachud said that as we strive to modernise legal education, we must also confront the question of equitable access to legal education.

“Entrance tests for admission to law schools must not be exclusionary. We must ensure that our admissions processes are fair, transparent, and inclusive,” he said.

Speaking further, CJI Chandrahcud said that law officers serve as the primary point of contact between the courts and the government and they not only function as representatives of the government but also as officers of the court.

“Law officers bear a greater responsibility in upholding ethical standards compared to private practitioners, given their role as guardians of the rule of law. …It is imperative that law officers remain impervious to the politics of the day and conduct themselves with dignity in court, ensuring the integrity of legal proceedings,” he said.

The Supreme Court has repeatedly emphasised that law officers and professionals should not only assist the administration of justice but also uphold the honour of the legal profession through exemplary conduct from both within and outside the courtroom, he added.

Citing eCourts Project which aims to leverage technology to improve access to justice for all citizens, CJI Chandrachud said that technology should bring about a transformation, not just automation.

“We must ensure that technological solutions are designed keeping in mind equity and inclusivity, taking into account the diverse needs and capabilities of all our stakeholders,” he said.

Chief Justice Chandrachud said that the Sustainable Development Goals — calling for action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all — resonate deeply with our core constitutional principles of justice, equality, and human rights and these goals are not specific to just India but are intrinsic part of all legal systems.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday inaugurated the Commonwealth Legal Education Association (CLEA) – Commonwealth Attorneys and Solicitors General Conference (CASGC) 2024 at Vigyan Bhawan.

The Conference will see participation of Attorney Generals and Solicitors from the Commonwealth nations spanning the Asia-Pacific, Africa, and the Caribbean along with various international delegations.

The conference themed ‘Cross-Border Challenges in Justice Delivery’ will deliberate on important issues pertaining to law and justice like judicial transition and the ethical dimensions of legal practice; executive accountability; and revisiting modern-day legal education, among others.



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