The International Judicial Conference 2020 was held from 21st-23rd February, 2020 in New Delhi.
- The Conference was organized by the Supreme Court of India.
- The theme of the Conference was ‘Judiciary and the Changing World’.
- Important Topics of discussion at the Conference included :
- Gender Justice,
- Contemporary Perspectives on Protection of Constitutional Values,
- Dynamic Interpretations of the Constitution in a Changing World,
- Harmonisation of Environment Protection vis-à-vis Sustainable Development and
- Protection of Right to Privacy in the Internet Age.
Highlights from the Conference
- Sustainable Development: The Indian judiciary was appreciated for its balance between development and environment, and continued guidance in it.
- E.g. Judgement on Sardar Sarovar Project
- Increased Accessibility: The Supreme Court was hailed for the “extraordinary effort” to make its judgments more accessible to the common man by making them available in nine vernacular languages, keeping in mind the nation’s linguistic diversity.
- Gender Justice: The recent directives for granting equal status to women in the Army, guidelines for preventing sexual harassment at the workplace, etc. were appreciated.
- Global Reference: The Chief Justice of India said that the Supreme Court’s judgments are cited by courts of other countries and have served as a “beacon of hope” to independent and developing nations.
- A 2001 verdict of the South African court cited the Indian case of Narain Das Jain v Agra Nagar Mahapalika decided by the Supreme Court in 1991 to benchmark the compensation to be provided while acquiring land.
- Use of ICT: The need for technology was highlighted to deliver speedy justice.
- The Government is making an effort to connect every court of the country to the E-court Integrated Mission Mode Project. The establishment of the National Judicial Data Grid will make court procedures easier.
- Future Challenges: It was highlighted that issues like data protection and cyber crimes pose new challenges for the judiciary.
E-court Integrated Mission Mode Project
- The E-Courts Project was conceptualised on the basis of "National Policy and Action Plan for Implementation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the Indian Judiciary - 2005" submitted by e-Committee of the Supreme Court of India (set up in 2004).
- The main objectives of the e-Court Project are as follows:
- To provide efficient & time-bound citizen centric service delivery.
- To develop, install & implement decision support systems in courts.
- To automate the processes to provide transparency of Information access to its stakeholders.
- To enhance judicial productivity both qualitatively & quantitatively, to make the justice delivery system affordable, accessible, cost effective & transparent.
- The e-Courts National portal (ecourts.gov.in) was launched in 2013. This provides Case Status, daily Case-list, Cases Filed and Cases Registered through the Case information System (CIS) Software.
- The National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG) is a part of the e-Courts Integrated Mission Mode Project. It was launched in 2015. The aim is to track judicial performance across different courts in the country.
- The NJDG is working as National data warehouse for case data including the orders/judgments for Courts across the country.
- NJDG works as a monitoring tool to identify, manage & reduce pendency of cases.
- It also helps to provide timely inputs for making policy decisions to reduce delay and arrears in the system, facilitate better monitoring of court performance and systemic bottlenecks, and, thus, facilitate better resource management.
- NJDG has specifically helped India improve its ranking in World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Report.