SC judge emphasises need for simple language in legal profession


Supreme Court judge Justice Sanjeev Khanna stressed on Sunday the need for using simple language in the legal profession to enable citizens to take informed decisions and avoid unintentional violations.
Justice Khanna, speaking at the valedictory session of the 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., the use of language that is understood by the common man, required greater attention.
‘Is the law required to be demystified? Should the law be a puzzle that needs to be solved? Laws are meant to resolve disputes, not become disputes themselves. Law should not be a mystery to the common man. The law is not written as an edict meant for legal experts. They apply and govern almost everything in our daily lives, so the use of simple language is required. This enables citizens to make informed decisions and avoid unintentional violations.
This equally applies to our decisions and judgments,’ he said. He said commercialisation of litigation and legal professions was of utmost concern. ‘Escalating costs of litigation exorbitant fees are a formidable barrier to access to justice, and we must ensure that 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 examine and address the issue of the declining interest in litigation as a career choice.
‘We must all survive to revive and preserve certain traditions of the legal professions, which means court litigation should be a matter of first choice and not the last,’ he said.
One of the reasons was low retention and/or stipends being paid to the youngsters and the young lawyers, he reasoned.